Just as a certain photograph had faded, I had also let my disappointments of that time cloud my view of the past.
But when my husband scanned and restored the image, he brought back into focus my unresolved resentments of events of long ago.
A friend suggested that I think of the possibilities before me at that time as I looked at the picture, instead of obstacles I experienced.
His advice changed my feelings toward the picture, and I realized I had found another path to forgiveness.
My column last month also was about forgiveness. It's now online at standard.net under Community, Religion, and was posted July 6.
With all the feedback I've received from that piece, I've discovered how difficult and how necessary Standard-Examiner readers believe forgiveness to be.
In an online support group called Healing Hearts, started for those who have been abused, Kelly Petersen Stanton wrote that "forgiving another unlocks the cell of your own bondage."
"It's a multi-layered activity that requires repeating, but each layer that is removed shines more light into the soul of the forgiver," she wrote. "I'm having to 'lather, rinse, repeat' many times to forgive regarding some of the things I've experienced, but oh the beauty of my life outside that cell."
Forgiveness is a subject that has always received much attention from churches.
A timeless sermon on the subject was written by Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), who was an influential Baptist minister in England.
In the sermon, titled "Divine Forgiveness Admired and Imitated" and delivered on May 17, 1885, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in Newington, England, Spurgeon said: "As a rule, with what measure we mete it is measured to us again ... and no man is forgiven who will not, himself, forgive."
He referenced the Lord's Prayer, which states, "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us."
And he reminded those to whom he spoke that it was in forgiveness that Jesus Christ performed his greatest work.
"Your Master, who is King of kings, set you an example of gaining glory by enduring wrong," he said. "If you would be knights of his company, imitate his graciousness."
Spurgeon talked of a life where people live and work together in a process of growth.
"Like pebbles in the river of the water of life, we are wearing each other round and smooth," he said. "Everybody is polishing and being polished. ... It is part of a great process by which we shall all come into proper shape, and be made meet for endless fellowship."
Spurgeon suggested constant work to forget unkindnesses.
"Let it not be said of any Christian man that he is unloving, ready to take offense, apt to bear malice, or quick to anger," he said. "Cultivate forbearance till your heart yields a fine crop of it."
And I'd like to add a sweet blessing I got from my earlier adventure in forgiveness, which I wrote about last month.
When I decided to forgive the bullies who were my reason for changing schools in the eighth grade, my friends from my old school reached out to me.
I felt the joy of being forgiven myself.
"To be forgiven is such sweetness that honey is tasteless in comparison with it," Spurgeon said.
"But there is one thing still sweeter -- and that is to forgive."