Recently we read about Peter and Shirley Pond, who were living in New Hampshire with their twenty-three children! Most of them were adopted—from Cambodia. They all lived in a thirteen-room house, and, as Shirley tells, they had their share of difficult times, like any family. There were also cultural barriers to overcome. Because of the children's background, she said, they "aren't in the habit of telling you they're angry at you for something you did. They just remember it forever—and never forgive it. Well, we had to change that. We taught them to talk about whatever problems they might have with someone—and to forgive. Lakhana once told me that in order for him to endure the atrocities he witnessed in Cambodia as a little boy, he had to, as he put it to me, 'freeze his heart.' Well, we spent every day attempting to unfreeze those hearts.

"We often had to call a family meeting in order to discuss problems—and sometimes those would last half a day. Several times a year we'd invite those who wished to, and most everyone always did, to wash each other's feet while discussing some sort of problem one had with another. Like in the Bible. It's a humbling act—and cleansing to the spirit. You can't be arrogant toward someone if you're kneeling down washing his feet!" Reprinted with permission from Yankee magazine, January 1993 .

Washing someone's feet, whether literally or in our attitude toward another, is always healing. And like the Cambodian boy, if we've ever felt as though our heart has become frozen with unforgiveness, we should remember that the warmth of God's love can melt icebergs. It can surely rekindle one's love for his neighbor and for mankind.

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Forgiving and forgetting
May 3, 1993

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