Thursday, April 18 2024 - 8:26 AM
man looking through camera lens
Photo by Dreamstime

The Photo

My husband is a very good photographer. He owns several impressive cameras and enjoys nature photography. He hopes to share some of the photos with our Bible study room at church. Being a thrifty soul, he had a collection of photos enlarged on beautiful metallic paper, and he purchased some self-adhesive mounting boards. Without my encouragement, he decided that we could mount the photos on our dining room table with the help of a rolling pin and a mop handle. For several hours, we worked as a team on what normally happens with expensive equipment.

Ruining a Photo

My husband was very pleased with the photo projects that are now resting along walls and furniture in our house. After I mowed the lawn and took a swim, I re-entered the house and detected a “bubble” in one of the photos. “Oh, no,” I said to the dog as I leaned down attempting to rub out the bubble. As the dog nudged closer to inspect my work, I pushed him away and then noticed a drip running down most of the length of the photo. I forgot that the ends of my hair were still wet from my swim. I started to dab at the end of the drip but realized it was not going to help this mess. One of the mounted photos would be ruined. I felt very guilty and sad.

How could I tell my husband that I wrecked one of the photos? We had worked so hard to mount those photos. While I showered, I debated which method to send this bad news: phone, e-mail, or wait until he comes home late tonight. Then I worked on how I could word such a tale, finally deciding that I would just offer to use “my” spending money to replace the photo. Maybe that would help take the sting out of the loss. I was still bummed.

Then a strange and wonderful thing happened. After carefully drying my hair, I went to look at the damage again. Surprise! The drip mark had disappeared. I could still see a couple of small bubbles and found one in another photo. But I did not wreck the first photo! I know this means a lot to my husband, and I am so relieved.

Saying I’m Sorry

I started to think about why I was so distraught over trying to apologize. Was I afraid that I would not be forgiven for the photo? That my husband would think I was careless and stupid? Or that there was something more important than our relationship?

Years ago on our very first solo date, we watched a movie in which the theme was “love means you never have to say you’re sorry.” We watched it again a couple of years ago and had to laugh. What a bunch of bunk. Of course, we have to say we are sorry when living in a relationship. Yet, we also have to have enough confidence that our intentions will be accepted as good and sincere. And that our love is strong enough to handle most human failings.

Questions for personal journaling or group discussion:

1. What makes an apology worthy of acceptance?

2. What keeps you from taking your sense of guilt to God?

If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy Confession | Saying Sorry 

Karen Spruill writes from Florida.

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About Karen Spruill

Karen Spruill

writes from Orlando, Florida.

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