THE GIFT

By JOHN M. DERBY
TIMES PUBLISHER
December 22, 2016

Seated at the table next to ours, in a little restaurant 500 miles south of the Mexican border, were a couple from Sacramento who had just left their 47-foot ketch moored in Escondido Bay. They had been living on their boat since retirement.

Escondido Bay was well known to us and most sailors in Mexico because it is one of the best storm holes in the Sea of Cortez. They told us that their boat had been through four major hurricanes without suffering much damage.

We had a lot in common so the conversation was lively and very pleasant until the subject of politics came up and it was apparent that we had voted differently in the recent election.

We assured them that we were voting for “Change” not necessarily one party or the other. This did not satisfy them and the conversation sudenly went very cold.

As we travel we have noticed the great divide among many of the people we meet. The divide is so big that in some cases it borders on “hate.”

We have always felt the one thing that our country could do is to accept the principal that different people have different beliefs, and while these beliefs are not by others, they can be accepted as long as they don’t interfere in the rights of others.

Because our ancestors were Irish we know all to well what can happen when a country is divided within itself.

The Middle East has been made up by countries who are divided by religious sects or nationality, and look at what intolerance has caused.

It seems that at Christmas time, when our thoughts are about Christ and what he gave to the world, which was so special, we feel the great gift that he gave was “Forgiveness”.

Even as he suffered while on the cross he turned to God and said, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Now one need not be Christian to understand that as long as there is no forgiveness, then we are destined to a world of war and terrorism.

Almost daily we receive reports of killing of innocent victims in the United States so when they happen, we are not surprised; however, when the family of the victim says, “We want no revenge for what has been done to our loved one,” then this is the story of forgiveness, the story that needs to be told.

This is the GIFT we need to share.


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