Rev. Stacy Rector, the Executive Director of Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, talks about the miracle that happens when people who have been scarred by pain choose the path of forgiveness.
The following reflection is based on the Encounter titled "Stacy Rector: The Miracle of Forgiveness". Use this for a group discussion or individual reflection.
Corrie ten Boom was a watchmaker and a Christian living in the Netherlands during WWII. She and her family hid many Jews in their home during the Holocaust. In February of 1944, they were reported to the Nazis, arrested, and were sent to concentration camps. Corrie lost many loved ones throughout the war, but due to a clerical error, she was released in December of 1944. After her release, she set up a rehabilitation center for former prisoners and began preaching all over the world and writing about her experiences and faith journey.
Following one preaching event, she was faced with a former Nazi guard that she recognized asking her for forgiveness. Check out this article from Guideposts Classic where Corrie ten Boom speaks about this trying experience and the incredible lesson of God's love that came from it.
Throughout the piece, Corrie ten Boom acknowledges the presence of emotions, thought, and will in the act of forgiveness. Do you tend toward or away from one of these components in your own perspective of forgiveness? What has your experience been like?
Recall what you were taught about forgiveness growing up. Are there any insights there that ring true to this day that you wish to keep? Any teachings that don’t sit well with you anymore? Why?
In what moment of your life was it most difficult to forgive?
The following Action is an excerpt from The Upper Room book, Forgiveness: Perspectives on Making Peace with Your Past.
Suggestions for Making Peace with Your Past:
From p. 87-90 of FORGIVENESS: Perspectives on Making Peace with Your Past © 2008 by Fresh Air Books™. All rights reserved.