A lack of communication is often the only thing that stands in the way of understanding and forgiveness.
This is certainly not always the case. But it is true so often that it bears telling here. And I will illustrate it with a story.
A true story.
When my father and mother married in May 1948 an odd and disappointing thing happened. My father’s mother did not attend their wedding.
In the course of my life I heard the story a number of times. And it remained a great mystery. My mother got along quite well with her mother-in-law, and there was no apparent reason for her to snub their wedding ceremony. She seemed to be approving of the whole idea, but . . . she simply did not attend the wedding. In subsequent years their relationship flourished and there was never any discussion of her absence that day. Just . . . a mysterious question . . . that lurked in the wings of their life’s stage.
My mother always assumed that grandmother must have disapproved but then grew to love and accept her. She had no other explanation. And . . . she never asked.
When my father’s mother passed away in May 1975 he flew from Arizona to Tennessee to attend the funeral and burial. He met his estranged brother there, and his sister. And they talked.
At some point in the exchange the subject of grandmother’s absence at their wedding came up. And the mystery (which had persisted for 27 years) was explained.
The day my parents married was also the anniversary of the death of my grandfather in 1942. Grandmother held that day sacred; she certainly did not think it appropriate to attend a wedding that day.
And that is why she was not there.
Why was she never asked about this?
A lack of communication. A simple conversation would have settled this from the outset. An alternate wedding date would have been set. Their wedding would have never been clouded with the pain of apparent disapproval. A pain which was left unexplained for almost three decades.
Often . . . we refrain from forgiveness because we simply do not know the facts. We need to learn to communicate.