A good friend in the same Covenant Group shared this story with us.
It was their wedding anniversary. Aarthi was waiting for her husband Rajiv to show up after office in the evening.
Things had changed since their marriage. Over the years, this once loving couple that couldn’t-live-without-each-other, had turned bitter quarreling for petty issues. They were fighting over every little thing. They had become like strangers living under one roof.
Both didn’t like the way things had changed. As it was their wedding anniversary, Aarthi was waiting to see if Rajiv remembered.
The doorbell rang. She ran to find her husband drenched in the rain and smiling with a bunch of flowers in his hand.
The two started to mend and re-live the old days. Making up for fights, they were planning to have champagne together, turning on light music with the heavy rain pouring outside. It was perfect.
But that perfect moment paused as the phone rang.
Aarthi went to pick it up. There was a man’s voice on the other side.
“Hello ma’am I’m calling from the police station. Is this Mr. Rajiv Mehra’s number?”
“Yes it is.”
“I’m sorry ma’am but there was an accident and a man died.”
“We got this number from his wallet. We need you to come and identify his body.”
Aarthi’s heart sank. She was shocked.
“But my husband is here with me.”
“Sorry ma’am, but the incident took place at 4pm when he was boarding the train.”
Aarthi was unable to hold herself up. She felt faint.
“How could this happen??”
She had heard about the soul of the person coming to meet a loved one before it leaves.
She ran into the other room with tears in her eyes.
He was not there. Is it true? He had left her for good?
“Oh my God” she cried. She would have died for another chance to make up for every little fight they fought.
She cried and fell on the floor in pain and grief. She had lost her chance forever.
Then there was a noise from the bathroom. The door opened and Rajiv came out and said “Darling, I forgot to tell you that my wallet got stolen today while coming home in the train.”
On hearing that, her heart leapt for joy. Tears rolled down her face as she thanked God for giving her another chance before it was too late.
We mustn’t presume life will always give us a second chance. While there’s time, at those opportune moments, before it’s too late, let’s make amends for wrongs.
Our Lord Jesus in the middle of His “Sermon on the Mount” Jesus gives us that bit of wisdom.
“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison“ (Matthew 5:25).
Jesus is not simply talking about lawsuits concerning debts. He had earlier talked about keeping healthy relationships. He mentioned anger, murderous thought, hatred, insults and degradation as toxic to human relationships. Relationships suffer when someone harbor such against the other.
Two people going to court indicate a complete breakdown in relationship.
Perhaps earlier their relationship was warm, affable and cordial that one party confidently “lend” to the other. But now when one party has to take the matter to court in order to get justice, that relationship has clearly broken down. The situation has changed and there can be no expectation of restoration. The time for reconciliation has past. It’s too late.
Hence Jesus says, “Settle matters quickly … Do it while you are still together” … Before it’s too late!