New from Penelope Marzec

I wrote Angel of the L Train because I understand how important it is to forgive others. God offers his forgiveness to everyone and as Christians we are bound to offer forgiveness to others.

            I am aware of the difficulty in granting a pardon to those who hurt me. Most often, I will forgive those who cause me pain, but I will also avoid them because I fear seeing them will stir up the bitter feelings. Still, I can pray for them and that helps a great deal. We all make mistakes. Our emotions get all tangled up and we say things we later regret. It’s wonderful when forgiveness works both ways, but most of the time it doesn’t and it’s all too easy in today’s world to simply unfriend someone and forget they exist.

            But God continues to love them and I must, too, though it may seem like an onerous task.

            Equally important is the task of forgiving ourselves.  That is what happens to the hero in Angel of the L Train. He cannot comprehend how God could ever forgive him. He broke a commandment. Nothing convinces him that he, too, is worthy of forgiveness.

            I’ve done many stupid, selfish things, which come back to haunt me with my own unworthiness every now and then. For instance, when I finally bought my own car after working several months and saving enough for a down payment, my brother and sister-in-law came to visit. They asked if they could borrow my car to go out and visit my grandparents who lived four-hundred miles away. I refused to loan them my new car. At the time, I only worked one mile from home. So, I would have had to walk a mile to work each day, which I had been doing for months until I bought the car. However, it was winter and that was my excuse.

            My brother wasn’t angry at me. My parents loaned him their old clunker of a car. My brother and my sister-in-law drove out to my grandparents’ house in a snowstorm. The defrost on the old clunker didn’t work. Every now and then, my brother stopped to wipe the accumulation of snow off the windshield.

            Nevertheless, my brother didn’t hold it against me. He made a joke of it. That was the last time he saw my grandparents, my parents, my sisters, and me. He was in the Air Force, a navigator/bombardier on an F-111. The plane crashed and he died.

            That was a long, long time ago, but if I could go backwards in time, I would have loaned him my car.

            Instead, I had to forgive myself, trusting that the Lord cares for me despite my inconsiderate action. Of course, I continue to pray and to try to be a better person. That is why I chose a quote from Hebrews 8:12 for the beginning of the book, “For I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sins no more.”

            God is good.


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