The story is told in South Africa many decades ago when Caucasian–European men
predominantly owned the countries and inflicted great oppression. Any person even
remotely familiar with slavery or what became known as indentured-servitude would
understand the gruesome implications. Circumstantially the oppressed were natives to
the land and it was always said that when the natives took over governmental control
that it would be an utter bloodbath from the oozing vengeance that wanted to be
sought out against the corrupt overlords.
Now that we’ve laid the groundwork of the story let me tell you about this woman. This
woman is going to teach you something you’ll never to forget!
She was one of the natives in the country at the time. A mother and a wife…
For some unknown reason (assuming there was any reason at all), one of the ‘overlords’
came to her home and arrested her husband and took him to trial. Within this “trial”
there was no accusation. No judge. No jury. No chance. (Step 1: Would you forgive?)
During this ‘trial’ the woman and her children came begging for mercy on the man, the
father, the husband, while the overlord mercilessly beat him to death in front of their
eyes. After he was done he cut the innocent man to pieces while the family watched…
(Step 2: Could you forgive?)
As if this wasn’t cruel enough, the overlord came back, for the children and took them
to ‘trial’. To add vicious insult to injury he fatally beat the children and administered the
same ending as he did the husband. Only God I feel can understand that kind of pain…
(Step 3: Should you forgive?)
Ineluctably it wasn’t long before the natives overthrew the government. Nelson
Mandela led the movement and even though a bloodbath on the corrupt former leaders
was expected Nelson told his people that the thing his country needed most wasn’t
vengeance, but healing.
Nelson Mandela constructed a system wherein any former oppressor could come to
trial, and if he admitted his sins in full with a contrite heart to the victim(s), regardless of
the crime he could be acquitted.
The infamous oppressor who murdered countless people including the lady’s husband
and children stepped forward for trial while the woman was in attendance. Nelson
prompted the man to speak and admit all of his crimes. Without hesitation he listed his
crimes with apparently no remorse. The crowd was indignant and Nelson took heed and
asked the woman what punishment should be administered on this man.
The woman said “I want this man to be sentenced to visit me twice a week and spend
at least two hours with me and keep my company since he took everything from me”
Now I can imagine that this was very uninviting and awkward request and that Nelson
might have prompted her to continue with her reasoning for the request. In being
prompted the woman continued, “A man like this that can commit such a gruesome act
to people that love each other must not know love himself. I want him to visit me twice
a week and spend two hours each time so I can show him what love is and love him with
the love of a mother so he can understand love”.
You see true forgiveness is like the fruits of the spirit. They come naturally when you
commune with God. True forgiveness has no space for scrutiny of whether or not a
person deserves it. It comes naturally, to whomever, whenever for whatever. Until we
can forgive like this, we have no part with the Father…
Written By: Kevron Reid