I thought I should start having themes (I do much better with specific things to write about) and thus, while finishing a book this afternoon, realized the start to my week needs to "meaningful."
Today is about forgiveness and the unsurpassed beauty of grace. I just finished reading Philip Yancey's book, "What Good is God," and was touched my a story he wrote about. This story comes out of South Africa after the apartheid and transformation with Nelson Mandela regarding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
"A policeman named van de Broek recounted an incident when he and other officers shot an 18 year old boy and burned the body, turning it on the fire like a piece of barbecue meat in order to destroy the evidence. Eight years later van de Broek returned to the same house and seized the boy's father. The wife was forced to watch as policeman bound her husband on a woodpile, poured gasoline over his body, and ignited it.
The courtroom grew hushed as the elderly woman who had lost first her son and then her husband was given a change to respond. "What do you want from Mr. van de Broek?" the judge asked. She said she wanted van de Broek to go to the place where they burned her husband's body and gather up the dust so she could give him a decent burial. His head down, the policeman nodded in agreement.
Then she added a further request, "Mr. van de Broek took all my family away from me, and I still have a lot of love to give. Twice a month, I would like for him to come to the ghetto and spend a day with me so I can be a mother to him. And I would like Mr. van de Broek to know that he is forgiven by God, and that I forgive him, too. I would like to embrace him so he can know my forgiveness is real."
Some in the courtroom spontaneously began singing "Amazing Grace" as the elderly woman made her way to the witness stand, but van de Broek did not hear the hymn. He had fainted, physically overwhelmed by grace."
"What Good is God" Page 280-281
May you know what grace and forgiveness mean and thus, what the real meaning to this season is (the gifts are a bonus).
PS: Have you read the following book yet? PLEASE DO!
xoxo, Anna N