Peach Offering

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

About a week after my husband and I arrived home from our honeymoon, we decided to take a road trip to my parent's home in Las Vegas. It was a six hour drive from Vegas to Salt Lake City, Utah, so we had plenty of time to chat. This was still in that illusionary stage of  marriage when we didn't believe in audio books because talking to each other was entertaining enough.

Three hours into our drive back home, we started arguing. Soon, the argument turned into a giant fight. Each of us thought we were right, and there was no way we were giving in to the other. Both of us had hurt feelings and we ended up sitting in self-induced silence, staring at the barren land around us in the longest, most boring stretch of the drive.
An hour later we stopped for gas. My husband went in for snacks while I stayed in the car, still fuming over our argument. I was determined to ignore him for as long as possible in order to teach him how much he had hurt me. When he climbed back in the driver's seat and closed the door, he surprised me. In his hands were a bag of gummy Peach-Os. I looked at him from the passenger's seat , still silent, and waited for an explanation. He said, " I am tired of fighting. I miss you. I miss your smile and your laugh. This is my peach offering. Can we be friends again?" How can I refuse that? The forgiveness was instantaneous.
Looking back five years ago, I don't remember what we fought about but I will always remember the way I felt when my husband extended that gummy olive branch. There are many things I love about the man I married, but the First Peach Offering will always be one of my favorites. His simple and heartfelt gesture taught me that humility and love are always the right answers for hurt.
In the years since the First Peach Offering, many more have been given. Most of the time, the offerings are a funny bandaid for smaller hurts to be smoothed over. Sometimes, they are the ultimate show of love and forgiveness in times when the pain of misunderstandings, betrayals, and trials are too big for simple "sorrys" . That is the beautiful thing about Peach Offerings. They've worked for the small and the big hurts in my life.
I have come to believe that sometimes Peach Offerings are absolutely necessary. I have wished that I could use them in other situations outside of my marriage, but haven't out of the fear that they would not be accepted with the reverence and a smile I am accustomed to with my husband. But the more I learn and grown, I see the need for forgiveness everywhere.
How many of the problems in the world can be fixed by Peach Offerings? How many years-long arguments and fights can be buried by the courage of just one person's willingness to say "I'm sorry"? How many open wounds can close and heal? How many families and marriages saved, or the joy of lost friendships found again? How many aching, lonely, angry hearts able to find peace?
I believe in saving the world one Peach Offering at a time.
So, if you want to build a bridge and feel the peace that comes with forgiveness, go to the store and get a bag of those dumb Peach-Os. I even used the apple flavor once in an emergency when I couldn't find peach, though it may not be as perfectly phrased. It is the perfect way to break the ice and begin the conversation that can sometimes feel impossible to start.
All it takes is a little bit of courage, humility, and a $1 bag of Peach Os.
© Channing B. Parker. Design by FCD.