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Excerpted from Forgiveness: The Greatest Healer of All by Jerry Jampolsky. Copyright 1999 by Jerry Jampolsky. Excerpted by permission of Beyond Words Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"The process of forgiveness wipes clean the slate of a painful past."

  Jerry Jampolsky, Forgiveness, Part 5

Miracles Inspired by Forgiveness

Finally, there is a story in Yitta Halbertstam and Judith Leventhal's book, Small Miracles: Extraordinary Coincidences from Everyday Life, which clearly illustrates the process of forgiveness. I paraphrase it here:

There was a young man named Joey, who at the age of nineteen left home and turned his back on his Jewish religion. His father was extremely upset with his son and threatened him with total rejection if he did not change his mind.

Joey did not change his mind, however, and all communication between father and son ceased. The son wandered throughout the world to find himself. He fell in love with a wonderful woman, and for a while he felt that his life had meaning and purpose.

A few years went by, and one day in a coffee-house in India, Joey ran into an old friend from his hometown. His friend and he passed the time of day, and then the friend said, "I was so sorry to learn about your father's death last month."

Joey was stunned. It was the first he'd heard about his father's passing. He returned home and began to reexamine his Jewish roots. His girlfriend and he split up because she was Jewish, too, but did not want anything to do with her Jewish tradition.

After a short stay at home, Joey traveled to Jerusalem and found himself at the Wailing Wall. He decided to write a note to his deceased father, expressing his love and asking for his forgiveness.

After Joey wrote the note, he rolled it up and tried to fit it into one of the holes in the wall. In the process, another note fell out of the same hole and landed at his feet. Joey reached down and picked it up. Curious, he unrolled the note. The handwriting looked familiar. He read on. Amazingly, the note was from his father, asking God to forgive him for rejecting his son and expressing deep, unconditional love for Joey.

Joey was thunderstruck. How could this possibly happen? It was more than a coincidence it was a miracle. As difficult as it was for him to believe what had occurred, there was the note, written in his father's own hand, irrefutable proof that this was not just a dream.

Joey began studying the Jewish faith in earnest. A couple years later, back in the States, a rabbi who was a friend of his invited him to dinner. That night at the rabbi's house, Joey came face-to-face with his old girlfriend who had left him years before. She, too, had returned to her Jewish roots.

And, yes, Joey and his girlfriend were married soon afterwards.

Time and again we hear stories in which the process of forgiveness wipes clean the slate of a painful past. It is not always easy to accept the fact that a shift in perception can apparently produce such miracles, removing the blocks to our awareness of love. But Joey's story indicates that not even death can stand in the way of this process. It is as if the reality of the incident that once caused us such grief vanishes and is replaced by the love that was always there and will always continue to be there forever and ever.

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