Forgiveness Is An Unending Circle

Most are aware of the tragic shooting of Amish school girls in Lancaster County, PA in October 2006 and perhaps many have heard of the Amish’s gracious response to the tragedy. I found the excerpt below to be well written so I include it here:

In the midst of their grief over this shocking loss, the Amish 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.

The afternoon of the shooting an Amish grandfather of one of the girls who was killed expressed forgiveness toward the killer, Charles Roberts. That same day Amish neighbors visited the Roberts family to comfort them in their sorrow and pain.

Later that week the Roberts family was invited to the funeral of one of the Amish girls who had been killed. And Amish mourners outnumbered the non-Amish at Charles Roberts’ funeral.

It’s ironic that the killer was tormented for nine years by the premature death of his young daughter. He never forgave God for her death. Yet, after he cold-bloodily shot 10 innocent Amish school girls, the Amish almost immediately forgave him and showed compassion toward his family. http://www.800padutch.com/amishforgiveness.shtml

And forgiveness has a way of coming full circle.

Terri Roberts, the mother of Charles Roberts, has found peace in the midst of her pain at her first-born’s anger at God and the horrible actions her son committed. She spends her days caring for her son’s most injured victim yet alive – an 11 year old girl who is paralyzed. Each week, Terri bathes the girl, brushes her hair, talks to her and sings hymns.

As she says: “As we reach out in ways that bring a touch, we can find great healing.”

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/story/2011-09-29/amish-schoolhouse-shooting/50609184/1

Originally posted February 2012

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