Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by Takesha, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. Takesha

    Takesha New Member

    Are you sure your okay? I could be wrong, but I sense a real sadness about you, and a searching for something really deep. Let us know what we can do to help you.

    I found this on another site, and wrote the man and asked if I could re-print this for you. It's a nice story and I enjoyed it, I hope you do too!

    Forgive and Forget


    John Roberts


    When I was forty, I was diagnosed with a rare swallowing condition named Achalasia. The sphincter muscle at the end of my esopoghus was too narrow and I did not have normal digestive action. This resulted in my choking on food and occasionally fainting. My fainting really scared my wife and two sub teen daughters. My surgeon recommended that I undergo major surgery to cut the sphincter muscle. In the early eighties, this was a serious and invasive operation. A physical complication was that I was very heavy and considered a surgical risk. A psychological and spiritual complication came from fellow Christians who told me that if I had faith I would be healed without an operation. In my weakness and lack of faith, their words did cause me to doubt. A week before the operation, I was seriously considering postponing the operation and trying to live on soft foods and liquids. Acting on this decision, I decided to go out and buy some soft foods.

    Frozen Food Prayer Meeting

    I walked into local Shoprite Market and began to fill my shopping cart. As I moved around the store, I noticed a man in his middle years following me. I observed him and a light went off in my head. It was Tony Salerno. He was a bully who beat me up when I was in grammar school Twenty-three years had passed since I saw him, but I was certain that it was him. I decided to avoid him. Being overweight and worried over my operation, I had no desire to duke it out with him. In my memory, he also won every fight. I looked around and he had disappeared from sight. I turned down the frozen food aisle and there he was looking right at me. I was speechless.

    “Excuse me, are you John Roberts who used to attend St.Anthony’s School in the South End?

    “Yes, I am. What can I do for you”?

    “I’m Tony Salerno and I used to pick on you in school. Do you remember?”

    “Yes, Tony, I remember you. What do you want now?”

    “John, I asked Jesus into my life about ten years ago. I’ve been looking for you. I want to say I’m sorry that I used to beat you up and I want you to forgive me. Will you?”

    “Tony, I became a Christian fifteen years ago and frankly I forget why you and I fought. But I do forgive you and I’m glad that you asked Jesus into your life.”

    Tony and I shook hands and we caught up on things. He was married with two children and worked for the power company. I told him about my family and my job with New York State government. I spoke of my swallowing condition and my upcoming operation. Tony promised to pray for me.

    ”Tony, I may not have the operation. Some people think that if I have faith the Lord will cure me without an operation. They’ve put a doubt in my mind”

    Tony thought about what I said and gave me a short course in healing where God cured people through doctors and medicine. He also pointed out the dozens of people in the New Testament who were sick and were cured over a period of time and a healing regime. His word encouraged me and right there in the frozen food aisle, we prayed for me.

    Tony goes to our church

    I had the operation and I was fully cured. The operation led me to lose weight. Over the years, I went into ministry. I loved to tell about Tony and how he encouraged me. When I was sixty-one, I was telling the story to a group of teens at our church. Two of the young people stopped me after the meeting. They told me that Tony Salerno went to their church and he told the same story and just the way I told it. He saw the story as a true story of forgiveness.

    About a year later, I met the Rev Charles Gay, pastor of Tony’s church and I shared the story with him. The next day I was talking with a couple that attended the church. They told me that my name was mentioned in their Bible Study. The lesson was on forgiveness. Tony spoke up and said that he wanted to share a forgiveness story. As he began, the pastor interrupted him. “Did this happen in Shoprite?” Tony said yes. “Was the fellow’s name John?” Tony said yes. He asked how the pastor knew. The pastor told him that he had met me that same day and I told the same tale. The people rejoiced. I promised to visit the church and attend the next prayer meeting.

    The Rest of the Story

    On the afternoon of the prayer meeting, I decided to write the story for publication. I asked the Lord to bring to mind all the details of the incident. As I prayed, the Lord asked me: “Do you remember why Tony used to hit you?” I thought about it and then it came back clear as a bell. Tony had a severe stutter. The more he was upset the more he would stutter. The Lord opened my mind and I remember how I used to mock Tony’s stutter. “Hiiii Tonnnyyyy, howwww arre youuu doinnnng? How goes it stutter bug?” Tony hit me when I mocked him. That night I went to the Bible Study with an intention to tell the rest of the story.

    I walked into the church and I recognized Tony. We hugged and the pastor asked Tony to introduce me. I stood up and told the whole story of forgiveness and forgetfulness. It was a great time of fellowship and healing. After the meeting, I asked Tony about the stuttering. He told me that the Lord cleared it up. So we parted as friends. Where else but in God’s Kingdom can you find two former enemies who could forget the past and go on in fellowship.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/28/2003]
  2. Hikagranma

    Hikagranma New Member


  3. danny3861

    danny3861 New Member

    Thanks for that story. That really hit the spot this evening. Dear Lord, thanks for this blessing.

    Amen, Danny
  4. annab

    annab Guest

    Someday, I hope to be able to tell a story of forgiveness too. I know the beginning of the story: there was a doctor who took prejudice against CFS to extremes. Once when I was seriously ill and fighting for my life, he refused to believe I was ill despite overwhelming evidence. For over a month he refused to believe how severe my illness was. My blood sugar had fallen to 26. I had had all the symptoms of a heart attack. I had a chronic untreated systemic infection. One side of my face went numb, and it spread down the left side of my body. For a month I struggled to survive one more day, and often even one more hour. After an extremely bad night, my husband took me to see this doctor. He refused to go over my records with me. He tried to force me to believe that I wasn't ill at all. He tried very hard to coerce me into admitting that CFS is "not a real illness" and that I was really suffering from "some strange mental illness". He tried to force me to completely stop all my medicines and vitamins. He had already very much disrupted my medicines and vitamins, very much to my harm. I was so ill that day, that I had extreme troubles forming whole sentences. I could only stand briefly with the aid of my husband. I was unable to defend myself. My husband helped me up to leave, and this doctor became extremely angry. A few days later, I received a letter from him by certified mail officially banning both me and my husband from his clinic, and leaving me without a primary care physician. He also lied about me in my records, which I did not discover until the next year when I obtained my records. He also lied about me to my insurance company and to my next doctor, which very much interfered with obtaining proper medical care over the next couple of years.
    I would most likely be dead now if he had continued to have his way. It is only by the grace of God that I am still alive (another doctor stepped in at this point to help).
    Believe me, I am sick of this story by now. I have worked for two years to stand up for my rights and to try to forgive this man. I very much look forward to the day when I no longer have to suffer for his abuse. I am learning that this means a change in my own way of thinking. I know that God has helped me along the way. But He has done it in the form of teaching me the way, rather that just making it all disappear all at once. I trust God enough to follow him, and to learn what He wants me to learn.
  5. Takesha

    Takesha New Member

    I am so sorry that you have gone through this, It is a horrendous story. I thank you from the depths of my heart for sharing this with me.It raises the age old question of why so many suffer in so many differnt ways. I thank God that he made way for another doctor to step in and that you are getting treatment now.
    I think (and this is just my opinion) that is severe cases like these, it goes beyond the misconduct of a person in "power" and into the phase of spiritual warefare, as our enemies are not always flesh and blood. To me it sounds like a demonic attack aimed at destroying you completely.
    Would you agree with this? Perhaps at one step towards your being able to forgive, you need to accept that this was a real demonic spirit working thru this man? Is that to far fetched for you to believe?
    I would like to hear your view on this if you would care to discuss it. I have no desire to preach to you, or argue some doctrine.
    You mail e-mail me if you wish, my email address is in my profile.
    Again, I thankyou for sharing this, and I will pray that the Lord will give you some understanding as to how you can move beyond this traumatic experience and really let it go. There is some supernatural healing of your emotions needed here as well, I think. I send you the warmest hug I can, and this matter will be at the top of my prayer list.
  6. annab

    annab Guest

    I hadn't thought of it that way, but it does ring true. I'm not sure how much influence he needed to set him off though. But it does seem that he was listening to the wrong source.
    As the scriptures say, "all things work together for good to them that love God". (Rom. 8:28) I trust that even this experience can be turned into something positive to help others in the end.