Today’s sermon touched a raw nerve and I’d like to share the core of it with you. The source of the original story is from Ernest Hemingway’s The Capital of the World:
The story begins in Madrid, Spain with a young boy named Paco. One day, for some reason unknown to the rest of us, Paco had a fight with his father and stormed out. His father grew anxious by nightfall when there was no sign of his son returning home. He began to roam the streets and knock on neighbours’ doors in a desperate attempt to find the boy. As hours turned into days, the father realised that no amount of wandering the streets alone would solve the problem. He needed to reach out to his son in a bigger way, so he put an ad in the paper:
meet me at the Hotel Montana at noon on Tuesday.
All is forgiven!
The anxious father walked into the Hotel Montana on Tuesday at noon, and came face-to-face with 800 men of different ages all named Paco who were hoping for forgiveness from their Papa.
The point of this story?
Hope and Forgiveness.
We are all Paco at some point or another, hurt and vulnerable who storm out in anger and live with regret. Yet, in spite of the pain, we cling to the hope that we can some day be forgiven for our mistakes. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting, but we don’t have to wait until we forget in order to forgive. In fact, it is in remembering that we learn our greatest lessons.