The clip clop of horses echoed along the dusty road as the families and community remembered and celebrated the lives cut short of four young girls this week in Pennsylvania. More funerals will follow this week. This story struck a nerve in me as I listened to each detail repeated over the TV and radio. My heart aches for the families and though I am not familiar with all the tenants of the Amish religion, their immediate forgiveness of the killer and faith in God’s sovereignty challenged me to look at my own life. I know from past hurts and sorrows that forgiveness is the key to wholeness and new life within. Holding a grudge leads to bitterness, which destroys the body, soul and mind and nothing is gained from hanging on to a hurt—no matter how large or small. Paul said in Colossians 3:13,You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. (NIV) These God-fearing people have demonstrated to the nation that forgiveness is the only way to respond to this tragedy even going so far as to invite the shooter’s family to one of the funerals today. What a picture of God’s grace and forgiveness! We can do no less.
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