Chappy’s corner “a BIG misunderstanding”

Ole lived on one side of the river and Clarence lived on the other side.  Every day they had a shouting match that included them cursing each other.  Every day Ole stormed into his house and told his wife, Lena, “Someday I’m going to go to the other side and slug that Clarence right in the nose.”  This went on for months, but then they built a bridge that crossed the river.  Lena said, “Well, Ole now you can walk on over there and do what you said you would do.” So Ole started walking over the bridge and then he saw a sign on the bridge that read “Clearance 8 feet” and he immediately turned around and went home.  When Lena asked “Why didn’t you go to the other side and give Clarence a big whipping like you said you would?”  Ole meekly answered, “Well, from this side of the river Clarence didn’t seem so big”


Why those two men couldn’t get along is anyone’s guess, maybe a word was spoken in anger, or there was a bad business deal, or some other item that caused hurt and anger between the two of them.  It happens all the time between neighbors, church members, business partners, and even in families.  Very often the quarrel started out over something rather small, but grew with time.  One person does something that hurts the other resulting in hurt feelings and very often relationship is broken.


Recently I heard of a man who dated a young gal. For her birthday he said he would give her one rose for each year of her life.  He went to the flower shop and ordered twenty one roses.  After he left, the florist who had no idea why the man ordered the flowers decided that this man was a good customer and in appreciation he added a dozen more roses to the order.  The young man never did hear from the young lady again. The florist had good intentions, but his action led to a big misunderstanding.  If only there was better communication between the man and the florist and the man and young lady maybe a relationship could have been saved.  Communication is a key. In the military and in practically every business, good communication is vital to success. 


But with communication there also needs to be forgiveness.  Forgiveness literally means to remove from sight.  In the Christian faith forgiveness is the key to one’s relationship to God.  Due to sin our relationship to God is broken and unless repaired, we are cut off from God forever. But the Good news is that God sent His son Jesus to pay the price for our sins by his suffering death and resurrection.  Through Jesus one’s sins are forgiven and one’s relationship to God is restored.


That same forgiveness can be used in our relationships to others.  It provides a way back and helps heal those hurts caused by misunderstandings even those big misunderstandings.  That’s just my thoughts from this sunny SE corner of South Dakota!


CH (COL) David Gunderson

State Chaplain for SDARNG