The Power of Reconciliation
It was the last meeting of a family retreat. While I listened with great interest to the testimonies by those who felt moved to share what they had learned, I felt someone from behind touch my right arm. As I turned my head, I heard a lady whisper, "Can you come with me? My husband is here."
Even though I had not met her before, I left the room with her, sensing instinctively the urgency in her voice.
As soon as we left, she began to cry. She took my left hand as we walked toward the sitting area near the entrance of the building. I felt a little uneasy walking with her hand-in-hand, so I put my hand around her shoulder, trying to calm and comfort her. By this time, she was sobbing.
As we approached the entrance, I saw her husband walk into the building. As soon as she saw him, she rushed toward him and held on to his arm. She was trying to say something but her sobs made her incoherent.
The husband looked confused, somewhat angry and embarrassed, not knowing what was going on. He tried to shake his hand from her grip but she held on.
I guided them to a sitting area. They sat side by side on a sofa while I sat across from them on a stool.
I noticed that she was trying to hang on to his left arm with both of her hands while he tried to free himself again and again. "I am sorry that I accused you of being lazy," she cried. "I am sorry for blaming you for not working. You are a good husband. I failed to see your good points. I am sorry that I accused you for using me as a money tree."
As she continued to confess of her wrongdoing, the husband began to relax. He let her hang on to his left arm, but his right hand trembled with emotions. Finally, he was touched by her sincerity.
He explained to me that his wife had come to the States several years ago to pursue her studies. While here, she became a Christian. After she graduated and landed a job, she applied for him and their son to join her. He said he had not minded staying home and taking care of their son and house while she worked. He'd been willing to wait for the family to become more settled before he tried to resume his previous practice in medicine.
I asked him, "Are you willing to accept her apology?"
Somewhat embarrassed, he nodded with a smile. "It's okay."
During the retreat, the Holy Spirit had moved in his wife's heart. She saw her husband from a totally different perspective. Instead of accusing him, she became very appreciative. Instead of charging him with using her, she became thankful for his willingness to stay home so that she could concentrate on her career.
What a change of heart!
I felt so privileged to be asked to witness the reconciliation of a relationship.
I also sensed the power of the Gospel to totally change a person's focus from self to God and others, from accusing to appreciating, from blaming to boasting, and from sighing to singing.
You may have heard people talk about the stress upon families from mainland China. Because of their unique historical background, they seem to face more severe challenges both inside and outside of China. In North America as well as in Europe, the presence of these families presents a once-in-a-life-time opportunity for the church and individuals to reach them.
I cannot forget the sincerity written on the face of that woman as she said to her husband, "I am willing to be submissive to you with the love of Jesus."
Her husband was not a believer at that time, but I believe he will respond to the love of his wife and will one day come to know the Lord.
You have heard that the world can only be changed one person at a time, but the desire to change that one person also has to begin with one person at a time. I witnessed the change in one person. You too can be a witness to the change in someone else's life by doing what you can in your own way to reach them.