His jaw was clenched. He stared at the opposite wall. There were tears in his eyes.
We had just had a fight. A loud one. Over something silly and small, as usual. I’m not sure how they escalate so quickly and so exponentially, but somehow here we were. Again.
I had said something seriously hurtful. I didn’t mean it, I never do. But in the moment I had wanted to cause him pain. And I succeeded.
I knew I had done wrong. I sent a lame apology his way, through gritted teeth. I hate apologizing.
He looked at me. His jaw relaxed and he said, “I forgive you.”
In my mind I lashed out at him. “You don’t really forgive me, you just want the fight to be over!” I battled in my head how he could forgive so easily.
And then I recalled the clenched jaw, the cold stare, the watery eyes.
His forgiveness did not come easy, not at all.
His forgiveness came more quickly, but not any more easily. As I reflect on it now, his forgiveness came out of love. Deep love, from His Savior who is molding him into a godly man each day, and for his wife, for me--love that is unconditional even when it hurts. Love that forgives even when it is wounded. Love that does not fight back even when it seems fair. Love that turns the other cheek, again and again and again. Love that leads by example.
And today, on this Valentine’s Day 2017, I take a little time to honor this real love. John Trammell, thank you for real-loving me, even when it hurts.
With all of my respect, your undeserving wife,