Something For Which You Need to Forgive Yourself
I've done some stupid things in my life. In immature moments I have hurt others for selfish reasons. For the most part I have tried to make amends where possible and can only hope that those who I've affected can forgive and, if not forget, at least move on. But there is one thing that comes back to haunt me every once in a while for which I cannot make amends and so I must forgive myself.
After graduating high school, I got a job at McDonald's. It became a secondary job as I worked to get myself through college. I was able to work at the Air Force Base during the day and McDonald's at night. Because I went out of state for college, I was lucky to have this job waiting for me at Christmas break and during the summers. After I graduated, I continued working at McDonald's. It was a fun job and throughout all my time I worked every shift available.
Those who remember me from way back when will agree that I was, for the most part, a very quiet, reserved person in public. I was also very honest and tried to do the right thing. I don't recall my exact age when this event occurred, but it has stayed with me for a long while.
I was working the morning shift, which generally meant arriving at 4:30 am to set up the restaurant by stocking up all supplies, starting coffee, setting up the tables with flowers, salt, and pepper, and being ready to work the window by opening time of 6 am. We usually got a rush of people in for breakfast around 7 and this day was no different. The window area was full of people and we must have had all five cashiers running. An older gentleman came to the front of my line, placed his order, and laid some money on the counter. Something distracted him and as he looked away, another younger man picked his money up off the counter. I watched this in disbelief, and though my gut told me otherwise, I allowed myself to assume that perhaps these two were together and the second man was simply playing a joke. When I gave the first gentleman his total, he looked down and saw no money on the counter. He then began checking his pockets and wallet to see if he had only thought he had pulled out the money. The second man then offered to pay for the first man's order and this gentleman was both embarrassed and grateful to this seeming Good Samaritan.
By the time I had confirmed in my mind that these two men did not know each other, the time to make things right had passed, or perhaps, I was just too much of a coward to confront the second man with his crime. I have always regretted not speaking up and making things right. I cannot make it right and though I do believe God has forgiven me, I hang onto this. I know I need to forgive myself.