A man came back to work in a place where he had been fired several months previously.

This time his work was superior. A fellow worker remembered his former inconsistencies and wondered what happened to make such a difference.

The man explained.

In college, he was part of a fraternity initiation committee.

They placed the new members in the middle of a long stretch of a country road.

He drove his car as fast as possible straight at them.

The challenge was for them to stand firm until a signal told them to jump out of the way. It was a dark night.

He reached 100 miles per hour and saw their looks of terror in the headlights. At the signal everyone jumped — except one boy.

The driver left college after that. He married and fathered two children.

But the look on the young man’s face — the one who didn’t get out of the way — stayed with him all the time.

His work became inconsistent, he became moody, and finally he became a problem drinker. His wife’s job provided their only income.

One morning while drinking at home, he heard the doorbell.

Standing there was the mother of the young man who died in the initiation.

She came in and sat down in the living room. She told how she had hated him and spent nights rehearsing ways to get revenge.

But then she gave her life to Christ, and he filled her with love and forgiveness.

She said, “I have come to let you know that I forgive you and I want you to forgive me.”

When he looked into her eyes, he saw the kind of man he might have been had he never killed her son. Her forgiveness changed his life.

As we enter Holy Week, I hope you will remember that Jesus’ blood was “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

His forgiveness can change us too.

His power within us can enable us to become the persons he wants us to be.

— The Rev. Ron McClung, a former pastor of Owosso Wesleyan Church, now living in Indianapolis, Indiana, currently serves as the assistant general secretary for the denomination.

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