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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Very Human Thing to Do


Someone made the statement: "To err is dysfunctional, to forgive
co-dependent." Sometimes I think I operate that way - afraid to err
and slow to forgive.

Of course, we've all heard Alexander Pope's famous assertion that to
err is human, to forgive, divine. But I don't agree. I think that to
forgive is one of the most human things we can do.

A number of years ago, Hildegard Goss-Mayr of the "International
Fellowship of Reconciliation" told this true story. In the midst of
tragic fighting in Lebanon in the 1970s, a Christian seminary
student was walking from one village to the next when he was
ambushed by an armed Druze guerrilla fighter. The Druze ordered his
captive down a mountain trail where he was to be shot.

But an amazing thing happened. The seminarian, who had received
military training, was able to surprise his captor and disarm him.
Now, the table was turned, and it was the Druze who was ordered down
the trail.

As they walked, however, the student of theology began to reflect on
what was happening. Recalling the words of his scripture, "Love your
enemies," "do good to those who hate you," "turn the other cheek,"
he found he could go no farther. He threw the gun into the bushes,
told the Druze he was free to go and turned back up the hill.

Minutes later, he heard footsteps running behind him as he walked.
"Is this the end after all?" he wondered. Perhaps the young man had
retrieved his weapon and meant to finish him off. But he continued
on, never glancing back, until his enemy reached him, only to grab
him in an embrace and pour out thanks for sparing his life.

That was a very human thing he did - foregoing the impulse to strike
back. It took a strong spirit. Yet every time we decide not to get
back at somebody who hurts us, we exercise one of our greatest
powers - the power to choose a better way.

Somebody else put it better than I can: "Life is too short for drama
and petty things, so, kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and
forgive quickly." It's one of the most powerful and human things to
do.

-- Steve Goodier
Posted by Priya Deelchand

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