Despite tragedy, the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina, is providing the world with an example of what the American faith community could be. It is modeling what every Christian, Catholic, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, or believer in any religion that embraces forgiveness could look like. Despite their severe distress and clear entitlement to righteous indignation, they refuse to do anything but follow their teachings that call for forgiveness.
If you want to do something for the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, then follow the members' example and find someone in your own life to forgive. Most of us don't have to look very far. What grudges are you still holding onto? Are you willing to forgive him, her, them, it, or yourself?
I'm not talking about anything easy. For example, asking the Green folks to forgive the polluters, the peacekeepers to forgive the warmongers, or the liberals to forgive the conservatives for all of their perceived transgressions and visa-versa may just be too much for most.
Are the police willing to forgive those who have assaulted them, and are those who have been assaulted willing to forgive the police? Yet this is the model being provided for us. Can you forgive even if they never say they're sorry or don't know the hurt they've caused. This goes especially for ex-spouses!
Chances are, you are probably holding onto more grievances than you realize. And it's no easy feat to face them and discharge their power over you. After all, they done did you wrong! However, if somehow you can find a way to forgive, YOU will be the ultimate beneficiary, and the ripple of peace you create in your own "pond" can't help but enhance our nation and world. Look at the ripple that's coming out of Charleston's tragedy! Lord, willin', please do what you can to amplify it in your own neighborhood.
Peace be with you!
If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive. Mother Theresa
Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it's a constant attitude. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong. Mahatma Ghandi