In Genesis we read how Jacob cheated his brother Esau -- first of his birthright, then of his father's blessing -- and ran away. He married, raised a family and became wealthy. After twenty years he was ready to return home -- still guilty, still terrified of his brother's anger. On the road, he heard Esau was approaching with an army. He sent rich gifts on ahead, hoping to placate him...

[Genesis 33:]

Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and saw Esau coming with four hundred men. He divided his children between Leah, Rachel, and the two handmaids. He put the handmaids and their children first, and Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. He went ahead of them, and bowed to the ground seven times, until he came near his brother.

Esau ran to meet him, hugged him, held him close, and kissed him: and they wept. He looked up and saw the women and the children, and said, Who are these with you? He answered, These are the children God has granted your servant. Then the handmaidens came near with their children, and they bowed. And Leah came too, with her children, and bowed: and at last Joseph and Rachel came near, and they bowed.

And he said, What do you mean by all these flocks I met? And he said, These are to find grace in your sight, my lord. Esau said, I have enough, my brother; let what you have remain yours.

Jacob said, No, please, if now I have found grace in your sight, then accept my present from my hand. I have seen your face, as though I had seen the face of God, and you were pleased with me. Please take the blessing I bring you; because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.

What does it take to face those we have wronged with generosity? To meet both power and weakness with fairness? To master fear and rage? To be the first to say, "I have enough"? To see the divine in another's face?

I pray for such courage, and for such a peace.

Stephen Aberle, Vancouver British Columbia Canada