Three of the most important sentences

I was wrong. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.

It sounds simple; perhaps, easier for some than others. One of the first times I used them was an eye opener for me. I had just moved into my new office in my new church. I was unpacking boxes. I walked into the secretary’s office and asked for something. As I left the room I heard my words echoing in my head. I realized that I had sounded way too bossy and this was no way to start a new working relationship.

I turned around. Went back to her and said. “I’m sorry I really sounded bossy. That was wrong of me. Please forgive me.”

She turned said, “Of course.” Then she turned to a parishioner who was there with her, and said. “Can you believe that, a man actually apologized?!”

Depending on the severity of our mistakes it can be more or less difficult to fess up and take responsibility. However, with practice (we do keep messing up) it gets easier. Last spring I decided to get to my back yard by driving through my neighbors side yard without asking his permission. It was a huge mistake for many reasons. The water runoff from my yard is just in this place and (you guessed it) I got stuck. His wife was irate and he was unhappy. He came charging out asking “What do you think you are doing! (Perhaps there were a few “explitives.”)

I replied. “I’m a complete idiot. I was wrong to do this, especially without asking. Please forgive me. And what can I do to make it right?”

It was like popping a balloon. It, as the proverb says, “took the wind out of his sails.” We agreed that he would re-sod and I would pay for it. As it turned out he never got around to the sodding, the grass filled in and you cannot see where I drove in. We are still cordial neighbors and I hired a tree company to make a roadway into my back yard on my property.

When it comes to Hospice care there may be more than a few opportunities to use these three very important sentences. Perhaps not so much about what is happening now as in restoring relationship broken by past injuries.

However, be it recent or historical these three sentences can bring much healing and avoid much hurt.


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