Is it easy to forgive? Jesus says we need to.
This happened on the coldest days last of the year. When I came home from morning Mass our neighbor Benny met me at the car. He’s a young man around 20 years old but he’s already been in and out of jail a few times for things as minor drinking or driving with a suspended license. His mother doesn’t always bail him out so he’s spent weeks at a time in jail. Wayne and I’ve given him odd jobs to help him make a little cash. I hadn’t seen him in several months so I was surprised to see him. He asked if he could use my phone. It was so cold but was upset with him and didn’t want him in the house. I told him to wait outside as I went inside to get the phone. We stood in the driveway shivering as he tried to make a few calls with no luck. He told me he’s been volunteering at the Salvation Army and was trying to get a hold of his grandmother to give him a ride. He said he usually walks but today is too cold. I offered him a ride. He thanked me and said he’d be back in a minute.
When I went in I told my husband Wayne, “I saw Bennie just now” I said “never give him another job and don’t even let him in the house. We can’t trust him.” I told Wayne I was going to let Benny know how I feel. Wayne asked me not to do that. I said “he needs to be responsible for his actions. We should let him know we’re unhappy with him.” A minute later I received a call from my son. I was talking on the phone when there was a knock at the back door. Mom yelled “come in!” and as I turned to look, there stood Bennie in our kitchen. Without even realizing what I was doing I hung up on my son and barked at Bennie “let’s go!”
On the way to the Salvation Army Benny and I chit chatted about nothing. When we both got quieted for a few seconds I said “Benny I’m angry at you. “Why?” he asked, looking surprised and hurt. I told him “we gave you $60 to get your car out of hock this summer for 4 grass cuttings but you only cut the grass two times.” Benny responded “well I was busy.” “But you promised!” I told him.” He said, “I must have forgotten.” I answered “I reminded you a couple of times and you told me you’d do it the next day but you didn’t show up.” I wanted to tell him everything that I was upset about but it was hard. I continued, “And also you borrow money from Wayne to buy cigarettes and promise to pay back on payday but you never do.” Benny “I’m sorry!” I ignored his apology said, “Benny did you know someone stole gas from Tillie’s truck? He shook his head no. “After the 1st time she bought a locking gas cap but someone busted it! It’s a mess, she can’t even get the cap off.” Benny “wow that’s terrible.” I told him “well it’s not happening anymore.” Then I said, hey you don’t have a car anymore do you?” Benny answered “no the engine blew up.” Benny didn’t admit to stealing gas from our daughter’s truck but we’re fairly sure it was him.
“Benny I just want things to be good for you.” I said sincerely. Benny answered “well I’m going to get a good job and pay off my probation and get another car.” I asked him “Benny what are you doing with no phone and no transportation and are you by yourself? Where’s your mother?” Benny “she’s in Afghanistan.” Me “oh Benny, I’m sorry.” Then I told him, “God just took all the anger out of my heart.” I had tears in my eyes. He said “it’s okay. She wanted to go.” I dropped him off at the Salvation Army.
When I got home I said. You know it’s going to be a big job for us to rip up all the carpet in our house to restore the hardwood floors we should hire Bennie to help us.