Yesterday I recalled the story of the Amish school shooting and their act of forgiveness. One of the things I noted was that their acts of forgiveness did not suppose the families were able to get through the tragedy easily. In the aftermath they sought professional counseling to help them deal with the grief, many of the boys suffered survivors guilt. What is interesting though is they were not angry at the shooter, but rather at the evil that exists in the world. In an interview one of the women said, "When I saw the bodies of the little girls at the viewing it just made me mad, mad at the evil, not at the shooter." As I continue to think about my own situation and the girl who just aborted her child, I realize that it is not her I'm angry at but the evil that has left her in her present situation. The beauty of this reality allowed the Amish to act in kindness towards that milk man's wife, children, and parents. Despite their feelings of grief and guilt they were able to show forgiveness.
What is so unique in learning from the Amish community is realizing that forgiveness is not a feeling but an action. An Amish man speaking of their actions said, "Our forgiveness is not in our words, it was in what we did." Our friend is in a world of hurt and will more than likely enter into a new world of guilt. We are praying now for ways to show her love. To truly be able to bless her and give her hope and a renewed perspective on life. And in the more pragmatic ways, we are looking for ways to bless her and show her love. We are not sure what this looks like, but I pray it results in a better future for her and her other child.
Our responsibility as Jesus followers is to bless all of creation. To love even when we might think they do not deserve it. It is in the Lord's prayer, as the Amish would say, "Forgive our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us." I'll add "or against others." We are to be a facet of living water to all through the Spirit that lives within us.
(All quotes came from the article linked above.)