By David & Patricia Earle
On January 23rd, 2020, 45 people gathered in our home to consider the power of forgiveness, through historical examples, and also its relevance to our personal lives. We looked at the biblical model of the two brothers, Jacob and Esau, and then the life of Jesus.
We quoted the example of Prophet Mohammed, forgiving the lady who gave abuse every day when he passed by her house, going to visit her when she became ill. Then on to contemporary examples – Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and the stories of Rev Moon travelling to Russia and North Korea at the risk of his life, to forgive those who had sought to destroy him.
In the Middle East, members of the Parents Circle and Families Forum are working together, despite having paid the ultimate price of the loss of a loved one. And in Africa, documentary films of ‘The Imam and the Pastor’ in Nigeria, and ‘Beyond Forgiving’ in South Africa, where Ginn Fourie and Letlapa Mphalele somehow found the incredible courage to not only forgive one another, but then decided to work together for reconciliation and peace. So many heroic men and women.
Patricia read an extract from Desmond Tutu’s ‘Book of Forgiveness’, followed by some time for everyone to share their personal views and stories, and then we concluded with an informal time of refreshments and sharing together.