Telling stories is a great way to convey a lesson or a thought—without having to speak directly. This week on Stories of Forgiveness we’re going to share with you a wonderful story of forgiveness that has been passed down through many years.
Two missionaries—a married couple—were traveling through India sharing their message of love and salvation. After they had been in the country for a while, a group of local folks decided it was time for the outsiders to leave. They set a trap and caused an accident on the road. When the crash didn’t kill the couple, they were beaten and left for dead. The husband was badly hurt but survived, while his wife passed away.
When we hear this story, we think how easy it would have been for the husband to become consumed with anger. Many of us, understandably so, would have given up, left the country and gone home to heal. But that wasn’t the choice for this man.
Rather than let his devastation turn to hate, the husband returned to the area where the attack happened and continued on. He forgave the locals who hurt him and killed his wife. When confronted with this response from the man they had injured so seriously, the group was surprised. They didn’t understand how someone could forgive what they had done.
While the man’s assailants benefited from his forgiveness, at the same time, he was better for forgiving them. He lived his life without fear and with confidence in his decision.
It’s hard to imagine forgiving someone whose actions result in the death of someone you love. But would this man’s life have been better if he had held onto bitterness and anger? What if he had forgiven the radicals but still left the area? In the story, he finds peace in not only freeing himself from the grief of unforgiveness, but he also gives that gift to others.
While this is probably not a true story, we think it demonstrates how much forgiveness matters. The lesson we take away is that choosing to forgive can benefit everyone—even if they are the offender.
Together in strength we will forgive,
The Will To Forgive Team