He took a comforting deep breath at the end of my tale of woe, shaking his head. “I’m sorry that happened, Alex. It disgusts me how a man treats his fellow man.” I nodded solomnly. He looked into my eyes, indicating a serious statement to follow. “Alex, I want you to do something for me.”
I perked up. “Anything, sir, just name it.”
“I trust you can do it?”
“I can try.” He nodded, satisfied.
“Do you have feelings against this group of boys who have been tormenting you?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know, Reverend. I’ve never really thought about it.”
“Regardless whether you do or don’t, here’s what I want you to do.”
“Forgive them for their actions today.”
I nearly balked. “For- forgive them, sir?” I gasped. “They threw me in the mud!-”
He put up a calm hand to silence my stuttering. “They may have thrown you in the mud, disgraced you, but you must forgive your fellow man. You would want them to forgive you if you had done wrong, wouldn’t you?”
Swallowing, I nodded. He was right. I smiled weakly.