I had planned to plan for my meeting.
The phone call was made that put things in motion. Eventually, fifteen minutes was set aside for later in the afternoon. Good. I had time to release anger and to plan.
But life happened and I had to attend to this detail and that. When the chime on my phone warned me that the appointment was ten minutes away, I sat down purposefully to prepare. And, at that moment, I saw his car turn into our parking lot. My time for planning and rehearsing was gone and the moment was here!
As I walked toward the lobby to meet him, I realized that something had happened. A quick look back in my memory and I realized that, in answer to earlier prayer, my anger had slipped away about the time I tapped his number into my phone that morning.
Our meeting was to be short. He had another appointment close by. I felt no personal anxiety as I sat across the table from him. We exchanged pleasantries and then I grasped for the one expectation I had managed to solidify.
“I want to honor your time. So let me just say, I’ve asked for this meeting so that I can apologize and ask for your forgiveness.”
His eyes grew wider and his face, already pleasant, became more so. He sat patiently as I explained how I had judged him almost 20 years before. And then, I detailed how I had allowed that judgment to color everything that he did or said since.
He was gracious in his forgiveness. Because of my actions and withdrawal, he had not really been aware of the tension I felt. We talked about things in general. I told him that there were some present matters that I disagreed with him on and we would have opportunities to talk. But I promised that I would never allow my past judgments to interfere with honest discussions.
I teach others about this moment. Yet here I was with this glorious instant unfolding. Now, in this day three, I am committing to continued conversation bolstered by my pledge to discard old and worn judgments. With the self-imposed anger gone, I’ve started to realize that those things that I’m in disagreement with could well have solutions close by.
I may revisit this self-medication topic. For now, please know that I understand that reclaiming a friendship is not accomplished with a three-day injection — even with the best of medicine. Reconciliation is a life-time pursuit.