by Lyssa Myska Allen
“I’ll take you to the airport,” he says. Looking at my grinning, sometimes-irresponsible best friend, I agree. We have lunch together, then he takes me to Houston’s International Airport in the pouring rain. 45 minutes later, we pull up to the airport … and I realize I am actually flying out of Houston’s Hobby airport.
We speed back to campus, as Jonathan has to get to basketball practice, and I say I’ll get my car and just pay to park for three days.
“No,” he says, despite having just driven me to the wrong airport at my direction. “I’ll call you a cab. I want to pick you up when you get back.”
I grudgingly agree. Three days later, I’m on my way back from my trip and call to remind Jonathan to pick me up at the airport that night. He says of course he remembers and he’ll be there.
I arrive at the airport. No sign of Jonathan. I call him. No answer. I sit down in the grungy chairs in the basement of Hobby, feet on my suitcase, mad that I didn’t just drive my own car, mad that he’s forgotten me, just mad. After thirty minutes or so, he calls back, “I forgot! I don’t have a car to pick you up in. I’m working on it.”
I say, “Don’t worry, I already called my roommate, she’s on her way to get me.”
Christi and I arrive back at campus and Jonathan is waiting in the lobby of our dorm. “You’re pretty mad at me, huh?” he asks, hugging me.
“You should be,” he says, “I’m sorry. I just forgot. I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay,” I say. And we head upstairs to talk over my trip, discuss how basketball is going, and watch our favorite TV show.
I’d all but forgotten about this story until I found a note I’d written about it. I’ve written about the unconditional love I shared with Jonathan, but this unconditional forgiveness was equally important in our relationship. It made our friendship so easy.
He forgave easily. I forgave easily. We loved easily. We loved unconditionally.
When I messed up the airport, he wasn’t mad, he was just sad he couldn’t take me to the right airport. When he messed up picking me up, I didn’t stay mad, I just found my way home. Quick, simple, easy forgiveness. Not ignoring the wrongs, just forgiving them.
Mistakes, messing up, accidentally hurting people is just part of people being people. But how free is a person who doesn’t have grudges held against them? How free is a person when they can mess up, own up, and move on?
How free are YOU when you can forgive unconditionally? So free you can forget. So free you can feel just how awesome it feels to love. Unconditionally.