Q: My mother and I hadn't spoken in over 15 years, but now that she's gone I feel overwhelmed with guilt and regret. I wish I'd swallowed my pride and reached out to her, but I didn't, and now it's too late. Maybe some of your readers will learn from my mistake. -- Mrs. V.S.
A: Thank you for your letter -- and I too certainly hope others will profit from your experience. How different your life might have been if someone had confronted you about this 10 or 15 years ago! The Bible says, "The tongue of the wise brings healing" (Proverbs 12:18).
We sometimes forget that nothing is more final -- and more certain -- than death. Instead, we tend to live for the moment, and we seldom stop to think about the fact that someday we'll no longer be able to say the things we should have said, or heal the hurts we should have healed. But once death intrudes, then it's too late. This may be one reason why Jesus said that if "your brother or sister has something against you ... first go and be reconciled to them" (Matthew 5:23-24).
Why do we find it so hard to reach out to those we've hurt (or who have hurt us)? Your letter said it: pride. We hate to admit that we were in the wrong (or at least partly to blame). We may also fear their reaction -- anger, rejection, unfair accusations, and so forth. But these shouldn't hold us back; even if we fail, we have at least tried.
The key, however, is to open our lives to Christ in everything -- including our relationships. Make sure of your commitment to Him, and then ask Him to help you love others the same way He loves you.
(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: www.billygraham.org.)(c)2017 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.