What if it's too late to ask forgiveness?

When I was a young boy, I had a babysitter in the little town of Santa Rosa, California.  I stayed there most of the day after school till my mom arrived to take me home.  There were other children there as well.  One day one of the boys took me out to the front yard to show me something.  He pointed to a boy on a bicycle across the street.  He whispered to me, "that kid's blind!"  I didn't believe him, because he was riding (or at least sitting on) a bike.  Then my friend said, "I'll prove it!"

Then he took a rock and threw it near the boy, and the boy's head jerked towards the noise.  But it was clear he could not see us from across the street.  While probably not completely blind, he was definitely legally blind.  Then my friend egged me on, "throw a rock, and see for yourself!"   I hesitated because it didn't seem right or kind, but finally I did it.  Who would know?  I threw the rock and saw the boy's head jerk around.  It looked funny.  He couldn't see me, so it seemed "safe."  Then my friend and I proceeded to throw more rocks near the boy, his head jerking back and forth, fear welling up in his eyes.

When the little boy realized what was happening, probably because we were laughing across the street, he called out plaintively, "Stop it!  You aren't being very nice to a blind boy!"  But we didn't stop.  We were young and thoughtless and being incredibly cruel.  Then, suddenly, I felt a vice grip on my shoulder and the husband of my babysitter twisted me around and said sternly, "What do you think you're doing?  That's just mean!"

And all of a sudden, I knew it.  I had never felt good about doing this cruel thing, but the desire to have fun and get away with something wrong was stronger than my young conscience.  He lectured us both sternly and made us apologize, but the worst punishment was the conviction of my conscience.  I probably did a lot of bad things as a kid, but I remember this 50 years later.

It was a cruel, heartless, mean thing to do.  I was one of those people who had scarred him for life, ruined his trust in people.  I wish  now that I could go back and really apologize for what I did, but it's too late.  I never saw the boy again, we moved away.  I never even knew his name.  But as a Christian I realize that every sin I commit is first of all a sin against God.  God told me I was to love my neighbor as myself, and I had broken His law by doing what I did.  My youth was no excuse, I knew full well what I was doing was wrong.

There are some sins it is too late to apologize and receive forgiveness for from people, but since all sins are sins against God, it is never too late to find forgiveness from the One we have truly sinned against.  And Jesus is the friend of sinners.  Even sinners like me.
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