In 2008 I was living in the States, and I had a couple freelance deals go really bad (as in people don’t want to pay for any of the work that was done).  I was married but did not have a kid at the time.  So I left my wife and Utah and drove up to Canada to work since I am Canadian.  When I got to the border I was just about to go through and my truck stalled…So of course the guards had to search my truck from top to bottom.  A young border guard had it in his mind that I was a bad guy and made a mess of everything in my truck (he literally smashed a few pens and tore everything out of its duffle bags).

After finding nothing amiss he asked me if I had drugs or guns…in this type of conversation:

Him: “Got any drugs?”
Me: “No sir.”
Him: “Got any firearms?”
Me: “No sir.”
Him: “Look just tell me if you.”
Me: “No I really don’t”
Him: “Look! If you have either one you could get a $20,000 fine and some federal jail time!”
Me: “No I really don’t you searched my truck, I don’t have any guns or firearms!”

He took my computer into the border station after I booted it up and put in the password.  I know they didn’t even look cause it had Linux on it and nobody knows how to use it, and if he did he would have been less of a jerk cause Linux guys stick together.

He threatened all kinds of things and then told me over and over that I was lying, asked me if I had drugs or guns again about a dozen times and would not let me go.  I was tired, hungry, freaking out and getting stressed out, finally I just broke down and asked him, “What do you want me to say, I just want to go, what do you want?”
“Say that you lied…”
I know that I was in the right but I just didn’t know what to do at this point, the whole border station was against me, I was broke and had and even more broken truck…I consented and said, “fine, I lied, I don’t know what about….”

That was all he needed, he fined me a $1000 which my dad had to pay on a credit card and I got to leave somewhere around 2 AM, I was there for many hours.

There were a great many more things that transacted but they are not so fresh in my mind, all I know is that I was extremely wronged, that border guard knew it and I knew it.  Never have I ever been so poorly treated, and as a Canadian coming into Canada.

It goes without saying that I hated this man, more than I have ever hated anybody, I loathe him, thought of all the terrible things I would do to him if I could. I wanted him to suffer more than I have wanted anyone ever to suffer.  I should have more details of what happened to really get across to you how much I hated him for kicking me when in the most desperate time in my life to date.

I wrote to the Canadian government for two years before the fine was refunded and a would be apology was issued, of course not by the border guard that inflicted the wrongs.

But before all that happened I read in the scripture about forgiveness, how we need to forgive, I had to forgive this guy and I just couldn’t for a long time.  Finally I decided that I had to try, it was not an overnight thing where I thought, ‘oh I should forgive so I will.’ I had to try and try to hate him a little less each day, I had to stop dwelling on it, not to forget cause I kept writing the government about the wrong, but I had to let it go in my heart.  I would not say that it was cause he had a bad day or anything like that, he was in a great mood the whole time he tortured me.  But I just had to forgive my enemy.

Forgiveness is not easy, it is a hard labour…not a labour of love I don’t think but of self healing and not letting your life be consumed by a hatred for someone.  I wanted to post this cause I was laying awake in bed thinking of things to post, and this experience crossed my mind and I realized that I was not sick in my gut with anger and hatred, I was just musing on the experience.  Do what is necessary for retribution for a wrong, but also try to forgive if not for your assailant (I know he didn’t care) but for yourself.

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