Two Years Later, I Apologized
Not long after my cruise ship contract ended, one of my dancer friends from the cast came to visit me in New York. *Mike, the cast mate who had been the bane of my existence during our contract, was back home in New Jersey at the time. He and I begrudgingly made nice for an evening so that we could both hang out with our friend. We ended up in New Jersey at a bar with Mike’s family and on our way back to the PATH train late that night, I was thinking about how it was a surprisingly successful night. Mike and I actually seemed to get along and even enjoy one another’s company. Right about then, months of pent-up hurt over how I had treated him on the cruise ship came up out of Mike.
Waiting in the empty station for the train to come, it suddenly became very clear to me that Mike was not the callous soul I’d judged him to be. He let me have it, telling me how hurtful it was to him that I could talk about Jesus day in and day out and yet treat him with such contempt. He got so upset that after he said what he had to say, he left us on our own to catch the train back to Manhattan. I tried to brush it off and act like he’d overreacted as we waited for the train and made our way back to the city, but internally I wrestled long after that incident with what he had said and the obvious hurt and confusion behind his words. I knew he was right and that I had acted with disgust and defensiveness toward him for most of the contract, but at the time I held on tight to justification through my own resentments of things he’d done and said to me. Even after he followed up with an email, again expressing his hurt and anger, my heart stayed hardened toward him and I eventually put him out of my mind.
It took almost two years for me to be ready to hear what God had to say about how I had treated Mike during that contract. The Holy Spirit has an amazing way of getting our attention in an area we don’t want to deal with and have long since forgotten about. There was no logical rhyme or reason outside of God’s power and timing why I started thinking about and honestly dealing with how I’d treated Mike. When I finally did recognize my sin and ask God to forgive me, I knew I also needed to reach out and apologize to Mike. I sat down and wrote him an email…
Dear Mike, This letter is long overdue, but it wasn’t until recent months that I even realized it was even needed. I hope you’ll keep reading. I was really, really wrong. Mike, I’m so sorry for how I treated you. I still remember the words you spoke to me when our friend was in town and we went over to New Jersey for your family’s get-together. And the email you sent me later. I remember being shocked that you cared so much but I’m thankful because, years later, those confrontations have stuck with me and God has really used them to open my eyes. You said something to me about how wrong you thought it was that I went on and on about Jesus but treated you the way I did. You were right and I knew it. I screwed up, Joe. I was a crappy messenger of God’s love to you most of the time. Please forgive me. – Megan