It was then that I realized two things: 1. It was the fear of the pastor that had taken root in my heart, not the memory of the physical event of what he did; and, 2. I had never forgiven the pastor. When I later learned about our need to forgive those who have hurt us, neither the pastor’s name nor the frightening scene ever came to mind.
I suspect that the praying pastor may just have thought my hands were slipping out of his, causing him to increase his hold. I am certain he had no idea that his actions had scared me to death. The issue was put to rest that day so many years after the event. Forgiveness produced the miracle I had not known I needed. Since another 23 years have now passed, I am confident that the issue has been put to rest for good!
If this story has brought back any such memories for you, dear Reader, but you cannot recall a time when you forgave the individual who hurt you, take just a minute to address that unforgiveness. The Lord is always there, waiting to hear our hearts. God had intended that the leaders of His church would care tenderly for His young flock; He had never wanted you to get hurt. Forgiveness begins the healing process.
****Authority Figures: Pastors, A Biblical View… Coming Tomorrow