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The other day, I watched the Film, The Amish Grace, about how a group of people (of the Amish Faith) forgave the unforgivable.

I don’t know about you but, I am like most people who consider themselves Christians. I profess my faith and one of the things that my Christian faith has taught me and help me to do is to learn how to forgive. 

I pride myself as someone who will forgive any wrong. Some faster than others. 

And I am convinced that the love of God in my heart is bigger than any hurt, betrayal, disappointment or wrongdoing that I could experience in this lifetime. 

 So this film, the Amish Grace. And the book, raised some questions.;

The things we take for granted. 

The things we assume of ourselves. 

The story:On October 2, 2006, a milk delivery man entered an Amish school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. He ordered the boys and other adults to leave, and opened fire and shot the 10 remaining girls execution-style, killing five and leaving the others critically wounded shot the kids, before shooting himself. 

Charles Robert, the killer, was a husband and father to three boys. He had been tormented for nine years by the pre-mature death of his young daughter. According to him, he never forgave God for her death. He was angry at the world and at God for taking his daughter and he chose to commit the atrocious crime to get back at God for such injustice. 

He destroyed lives. The lives of the kids he shot and killed, and their families, and then that of his family. 

His wife who would have bet her last penny to convince people that her husband was a good man and a great father. Unsuspecting of the evil he was planning. The pain, shock and devastation she experienced when she saw her husband on the TV and heard about the heinous crime he had committed. 

Before the sun had set on that awful October day, members of the Amish community brought words of forgiveness to the family of the one who had slain their children.

In the midst of their grief over this shocking loss, the  community didn’t cast blame, they didn’t point fingers, they didn’t hold a press conference with attorneys at their sides.

Instead, they reached out with grace and compassion toward the killer’s family. They told the wife that they forgive Charles and her family…

That they forgive him for killing their daughters….

Those in the outside world were incredulous that forgiveness could be offered so quickly for such a heinous crime.

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One of the mothers, heartbroken with grief, couldn’t come to terms with that word “forgiveness”…

“There are things that are unforgivable”, she said. And the rest of the world echoes it… 

“Some things are unforgivable”

My heart rose and fell with every tear those families shed as they buried their young ones. I felt broken as I watched that particular mother fight and later come to terms with apparent generous gesture of the community.

It was a real life story, and as I tried to imagine how they must have felt and why they chose to forgive, my heart twisted in pain…

And yet, I know that forgiveness is the best possible choice they had. For their sakes and for the sakes of their children. 

The story of the families behind that film and book, I see every day in our lives…

And I remember the parents and families of the people who have been killed by gunmen, armed robbers, careless, drunk and reckless drivers, terrorists, serial killers, psychopaths or those crazy gun-toting Americans…

The pain in their hearts. 

The anger they must feel… 

The emptiness… 

I think of that woman/man who is expected to forgive her lying and cheating husband/wife…

That family of that young wife/husband who was killed by her/his spouse…

The man/woman who has been cheated out of their dream or vision by a vicious, greedy and ambitious “friend”…

That young girl who was gang raped (led by the young man she thought to be a “friend”)…

Unforgivable!

I think about the one who became the subject of mean spirited gossips and blasphemy…

I think of people who have been despised and rejected… 

I think about the ones whose heart have been deeply hurt and shattered in ways than I can not even imagine…

The list is endless…

But the pain is real and deep. 

And sometimes, they appear to be unforgivable. 

How can you ask them to “just” forgive?

What will make it easy for them to forgive? 

I see it and I know that we must all forgive, but still…

I know the difficulties involved. 

And I understand you when you say that some things are just “unforgivable”

But today, I’d like to ask you, what is that thing that you think is “unforgivable”?

And as you answer that, I’d like to ask you what other options you have if you choose not to forgive? 

How will you not forgiving “hurt” you or the person who has hurt you? 

How can you heal? 

How can you move on?

And if you choose to focus on how difficult it is to forgive, how can you live with such pain?

Someone told me once in counselling that life was just not worth living… 

And I asked, how can you taking your life “hurt” the person who hurt you? 

How can your revenge make up for that hurt you will always feel?

This is not to ask you to forgive. This is not to preach. I’m sure you’re already tired of having the word flung at you from all directions…

I’m not sure how all this will help someone. I don’t even know if I’m making any sense…, but I sincerely hope that there’s someone who will read this and find grace to forgive and find healing… 

It is about you. About you continuing on the journey. About not allowing that person who hurt you to be the power that will determine the end of your journey or how that journey will continue.

It is about you and not much more.