A small boy at a summer camp received a large package of cookies in the mail from his mother. He ate a few, then placed the remainder under his bed. The next day, after lunch, he went to his tent to get a cookie, but the box was gone.
That afternoon a camp counselor, who had been told of the theft, saw another boy sitting a tree eating the stolen cookies. He returned to the group and sought out the boy whose cookies had been stolen. He said, "Billy, I know who stole your cookies. Will you help me teach him a lesson?"
The puzzled boy replied, "Well yes, but aren't you going to punish him?" The counselor explained, "No, that would make him resent me and hate you. No, I want you to call your mother and ask her to send you another box of cookies.
Billy did as the counselor said, and a few days later received another box of delicious homemade cookies in the mail. The counselor said, "Now, the boy who stole your cookies is down by the lake. Go down there and share your cookies with him." The boy protested, "But he's the thief." "I know but try it, and see what happens," replied the counselor.
About half an hour later, the camp counselor saw the two come up the hill, arm in arm. The boy who had stolen the cookies was earnestly trying to get the other to accept his jackknife in payment for the stolen cookies, and the victim was just as earnestly refusing the gift from his new friend, saying that a few cookies weren't important anyway.
We all have a great hunger for forgiveness as this next story indicates. It happened in Spain that a father and teenage son had a broken relationship. The son ran away, but the father searched for his rebellious son. Finally, in Madrid, in a last desperate attempt to find him, the father put an ad in the newspaper. The ad read: "Dear Paco, meet me in front of the newspaper office at noon. All is forgiven. I love you. Your father."
The next day at noon, in front of the newspaper office, eight hundred "Pacos" showed up! It seems that all these men with the name Paco were seeking forgiveness and love from their fathers.
Does a child of yours need your forgiveness today? Or maybe, you need to seek your father's forgiveness. Or maybe it is a spouse or a sister or brother or neighbor who needs forgiveness. Remember, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." God is waiting!