In reading Mark Batterson's Wild Goose Chase, part of one chapter talks about the power of forgiveness.
I'm not a grudge carrier normally; I've seen the damage it does. But in reading this chapter, I happened to think of someone I haven't forgiven, or haven't forgiven fully. I'd like to write him an open letter (first name only).
It's been years since I thought of you, or what happened. I remember meeting you. You were so far above me on the social ladder at college. I was so excited when you asked me out! Flying a kite in the park at night? How romantic!
I remember my confusion: why would we need wine coolers to fly a kite? And why would you pick a park with no streetlights at all? I had no idea where we were, but it didn't look like a friendly part of town.
Taking your obvious physical size advantage and coupling it with alcohol and the slightly scary, very dark location was not ok. Nor was what happened after that. (It's not as bad as you're probably imagining, but it was bad enough to scar me emotionally.)
For years, I fantasized about calling your sweet little wife and letting her know what kind of man she married. I knew just what kind of girl you'd pick for your wife: petite, probably blond, certainly conservative and Christian. After all, you were a good Christian boy, just as you told me.
In the last several years, I'd like to think I've grown up a little. Now I pray that you've changed, that you never behaved that way with anyone else, that this dirty little secret belongs only to the two of us.
In any case, I'm doing my best to forgive you. I hope that you're happy and healthy now, just as I am. I hope that you're actively seeking God, just as I am.
And I pray that dirty little secrets, shown in the light, lose their power.