Forgiveness: Sand and Stone

Two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey, they had an argument and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who had been slapped was hurt but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: Today my best friend slapped me in the face.

They kept on walking until they found an oasis where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning. The friend saved her. After she recovered from the near drowning, she wrote on a stone: Today my best friend saved my life.

The friend who had slapped and saved her best friend asked: After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now you write on stone. Why?

The other friend replied: When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness and waters of love can easily wash it away. When someone does something good for us we should engrave it in stone where it can remain for years to come.

From this wonderful tale of two friends we learn how important it is to write our hurts in sand and to carve our benefits in stone.

This is particularly important for women who, by their very nature, tend to be wounded more easily than men. This isn’t to say that men do not get hurt but that the inherent differences between men and women mean that each has a more specific response to experiences than does the other. It is the understanding that what makes women unique also makes women vulnerable. Women are made to be channels of love, selflessly given through acts of charity and as givers of life, which inevitably translates into a vulnerability of sorts.

It is never in a woman’s best interest to close herself up or “protect” herself with walls as this diminishes or even takes away her God-given “womanly” traits: her ability to “know” the things of God and man—what John Paul II called her “feminine genius.”

Rather, a woman serves God and herself best when she learns to experience the fullness of life as God intended and learns to write her sorrow in sand and her joy in stone.



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  • Little Lamb

    This article has serious, troubling undercurrents on many levels. The definition of friend is grossly distorted. The carte blanche acceptance of abuse is blatant. In fact, it surprised me that this was written by a woman, because it reverberates the age old cliche’, “the problem is not my lack of control over my anger- the real problem is your emotional reaction to it, and my anger is your fault anyway”. This outrageous implication is driven home like a sharp knife in the comment, “women who, by their very nature, tend to be wounded more easily than men”. Women are called by our loving God to be little reflections of His mother. Men are called to imitate St Joseph, and to love their wifes as Jesus loves His church. Jesus sacrificed His life for the church! How many of your readers are in abusive relationships, afraid sometimes to take a breath, or to step in the wrong direction lest the thin ice they walk on breaks and they and thier children fall again into the abyss that is their spouse’s anger? Have you not noticed the escalation in hatred against women? The devil is lying in wait to be crushed by a woman’s heel. He is NOT happy about that impending humiliation. Women, by their very nature should be treated as reflections of Our Blessed Mother. NOT SLAPPED in any way – verbally, passive aggressively, or physically!! The fact that the abuse comes from a “friend” whom one needs to depend upon to save their lives only underscore the insidiousness of the poison. This is NOT fullfilling Our Lord’s command to “LOVE ONE ANOTHER”. Forgiveness is divine. Enabling, excusing, masking evil- especially against the vulnerable- is outrageous and offensive to God. Men, by their role, reflect to the women and children around them the image of God the Father. If they do not live accordingly, the image is dark and depressing. An image that conveys dispair rather than hope.