My mind has been a swirl with the incredibly shocking and disappointing news coming out of South Florida this week. A popular pastor, a pastor whose church brought my husband to the Lord when he was a teenager, has resigned over moral failures. My father works for this church's school so indirectly, this man is ... was ... his boss. I have attended this church often, and I listen to his sermons often -- his words almost always resonated with me.
People are angry and saddened, and sin, as it always does, is already doing its work -- dividing and taking sides and getting angry and requesting more information and wanting its way.
So many are hurt by this. Some are just on the periphery. But many are grieving intimate losses this week. Trust. Friendship. Faith. Devotion. Family.
This morning I stumbled upon an article entitled Portraits of Reconciliation. It's the story of the Rwanda genocides and how, one encounter at a time, forgiveness is occurring. These are not small "moral failures." These are men who killed entire families. Men who looted and destroyed entire homes.
And these women are forgiving.
This story puts my own struggles to forgive in my life in perspective. There are a few moments from my past, I am sure we all have them, that stand out in my mind. An event that hurt me so deeply, I just can't seem to find the ability to completely let it go. Even if I say I forgive the person, if I am honest, I still have not.
But if Viviane (pictured above) can forgive a man who killed her father and brothers -- maybe we can all allow things to fall into perspective a little easier. Forgiveness is possible. It is never out of reach.
The Bible is full of instructions -- directives -- to forgive. Not just one but up to seventy-seven times (Matthew 18). "For if you forgive men they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matthew 6).
Praying for a community who is working to do just that today.