That is the word I hear several times a week after I utter a seemingly endless strand of letters and numbers.
Admittedly it’s probably the least favorite part of my job. But the residents thoroughly enjoy it. After calling BINGO for over four years now, it’s dawned on me why I don’t care for it much. It’s the least social aspect of my job. It’s rote and redundant. You can’t necessarily visit with folks because it needs to be fairly quiet and continuous. In my own quirky, silly way, however, I try to make it fun and entertaining. (I don’t do this for the residents. I do this for my own sanity.)
There’s occasionally some friendly banter back-and-forth between residents who are winning a lot and those who aren’t winning at all. There’s occasionally some friendly banter back-and-forth between residents who have empty cards and me who’s apparently not calling their numbers on purpose. They like to “threaten” me that we’ll no longer be friends if I don’t allow them to win. They even playfully threaten me with some sort of violence if I don’t start calling the “right numbers.”
After the first game the other day, one gal made such a “threat.” I played along and told her I’d work really hard to call her numbers on the next game so she could win. Well as it turned out, she did win. Then she said, “Beth, all is forgiven now!”
I replied back, “Wow…that was easy.”
Another one piped up and said, “Yes, that’s how forgiveness works.”
As we continued with the mundaneness of BINGO for the next hour, I reflected on forgiveness…and the beauty and simplicity therein.
The hardest part of forgiveness is the asking. It’s hard to admit we’ve done wrong. It’s hard to acknowledge we’ve hurt or angered someone, especially those we care a great deal about. Even so, though we may admit our wrongdoing, and ask someone for their forgiveness, they may have a hard time honoring our request. They may even deny our request for forgiveness, or make us somehow try to “earn it.” When we go through something like that, all is not necessarily forgiven, nor is it easy.
But I reflected on a grander scale. Not us being forgiven by others. But us being forgiven by God. When we admit to God we’ve screwed up or not exactly lived in a way that’s pleasing to Him, He promptly says, “All is forgiven now!”
No threats. No earning it. It’s a freely offered gift from a great big God who thinks the world of you despite your screw-ups. It’s called grace. It’s not complicated. Just beauty and simplicity therein.
When I reflect on that, I indeed reply, “Wow…that is easy!”
And my resident would respond, “Yes, that’s how forgiveness works!”
And everybody would join in and said, “BINGO!” (…or maybe AMEN!)