Ray Pratchard, in his book The Healing Power of Forgiveness, tells about a wise old monk and his young apprentice who were walking together along a forest trail. Their monastery had a rule forbidding all contact with women, but when they came to a river with a fast-flowing current, they saw an old woman weeping near the shoreline. “She asked for help, saying that she couldn’t cross the river on her own. Without a word, the older monk picked up the woman and carried her to the other side. She went on her way while he and his young colleague continued on their journey. Two-and-a-half hours passed without a word being spoken, but the young monk was seething on the inside.
“When he could contain himself no longer, he blurted out, ‘My Lord, why did you carry that woman across the river? You know that we are not supposed to touch a woman.’
“The wise old monk looked down at the young man and said, ‘I put her down hours ago. Why are you still carrying her?’”
Does that story touch a tender spot in your heart? Have you too been carrying a burden from your past—perhaps a hurt that you have never forgiven? Someone wounded you deeply. They were wrong and you were right, and you are still carrying that load.
Alan Paton said, “When a deep injury is done to us, we never recover until we forgive.” Physical, emotional and even spiritual problems will continue to plague us until we forgive that person even though they have done nothing to deserve it. The Bible says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
Pratchard goes on to say, “Forgiving does not mean whitewashing the past, but it does mean refusing to live there.” It means giving that load of hurt and resentment to the Lord—forever.
If Jesus could hang on the cross and pray, “Father, forgive them,” can we do less?
 Ray Pratchard, The Healing Power of Forgiveness (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2005), 138.
 Ibid., 129.
 Ibid., 102.