By Rhoda Klein Miller
There is something powerful about stories of forgiveness. Who can read Corrie ten Boom’s words in The Hiding Place about taking a leap of faith to forgive her former concentration camp guard without getting misty eyed? Who would not wonder how Governor George Wallace was forgiven by the African-Americans he once oppressed with adamant declarations for segregation? Read Walking After Midnight by Kathy Hutchinson of Squamish, BC and marvel how this woman found courage to befriend the man who took her husband Bob’s life.
That these offenders acknowledged their crimes and the harm they caused to some degree smoothed the path. They wanted to be forgiven. Much more remarkable is the forgiveness of those who don’t ask for it and show no remorse. As I researched great stories of forgiveness I realized how shallow my appreciation for God’s forgiveness was. Jesus declaration of forgiveness from the cross is mind-boggling (Luke 23:34). Despite a billion ways we grieve and offend Him, causing damage to His created beings and natural realm, God gives us the benefit of the doubt in our error. He focusses on our potential, remains hopeful of our rehabilitation, persistently extends grace and mercy and patiently suffers while we waffle between embracing or rejecting HIm. Has Jesus promise of forgiveness rocked your world? When it does, your ability to forgive others will change the world.
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