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Their Lives Are a Preaching on Forgiveness

The theme is forgiveness. We know that Jesus taught us to forgive, but when the rubber hits the road, we end up feeling like the sentiment on these bumper stickers that I saw this summer at Descanso Gardens in Southern California.

So, I ask you

  • Did the driver and the passenger agree with the sentiments reflected on the side of the car they were sitting?
  • If so, would you want to be a rider in that car?
  • Is this what we are experiencing as we travel through life today?
  • How is it riding in that car?
  • Are these the competing voices inside of the heart and mind of the driver?
  • How is it living inside my own skin listening to the competing voices?

Right now I’m reading the book Amish Grace, by Donald Kraybill. It’s all about forgiveness. “In the Amish view . . . people receive forgiveness from God only if they extend forgiveness to others.” In other words, they put the words given to us in The Lord’s Prayer into action. The lives of the Amish are a preaching on forgiveness.

Many wondered, following the tragic events of October 2, 2006, if the families of the West Nickel Mines School were merely putting on a show of forgiveness. But no, it is clear that this was something they practiced.So that when they found themselves between a rock and a hard place, their practice of the virtue of forgiveness won out. Thomas Aquinas, that great Dominican theologian from the 13th century would agree that if we practice the virtues, we will be able to exhibit them when it is difficult.

I wonder which virtues I’m cultivating . . .

There’s a wonderful Cherokee story called, “Which Wolf Will You Feed?”* I need to choose one or the other, or they may devour one another. It would be like sitting between those two bumper stickers!

*It can be found many places on the internet; here’s one link.

Posted by opreach on October 11, 2011

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