My sister Kathy first told me of her surprise encounter with the Dalai Lama in Washington DC several years ago. Noting that he was visiting the Capitol again recently, I called her for permission to share this as well to hear once more for accuracy’s sake how the moment occurred. Here it is for you:
The doors of the crowded elevator opened into a larger crowd in the Congressional office building. Kathy was pushed out first, colliding into a well known, long serving congressman blocking her exit. Although she was apologetic, he snarled back at her. Then finding herself momentarily separated from her interest group, she headed quickly down the hall to catch up to them – when she slammed into… the Dalai Lama.
She found herself bowing to the Dalai Lama as he was bowing to her. She told me he was very gracious. To her apologies, he repeated with a smile, “Oh, no worries, no worries.” Then his entourage closed around him and she didn’t see him again. Hearing from my sister of the encounter, I was left pondering the contrast of the reaction of the congressman and the Dalai Lama’s immediate forgiveness. Could his gentle response to my sister have been the side effect of how he lives his belief in God? I found this passage in the book of Psalms, “But there is forgiveness with You [God].”
Perhaps forgiveness is not only significant of God’s unconditional love for us, but of our practice of His love in our lives. As Jesus explained in the Lord’s Prayer, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven (given up resentment against) our debtors.”