"...And even in the painful aftermath of the shootings, the Amish continued their witness to the love of Christ, reaching out to Roberts’s family, attending Roberts’s funeral, comforting his wife and children, and providing for them through a fund established for Roberts’s victims and their families. One victim’s family even invited the Roberts to their daughter’s funeral. In the most dramatic way, they forgave Roberts."
-- BreakPoint Commentary - 10-11-06 - Charles Colson
By now almost all of us have heard about the recent tradgedy in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania where 5 young Amish girls were executed by a gunman (Charles Roberts) in their schoolhouse. But while many of us try to sort through our own feelings there has been little coverage, or at least little understanding, of how and why the Amish are handling it the way they are.
Quite simply, the Amish are taking the words of Jesus literally.
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you."
-- Matthew 5:43-44
Perhaps Katie Weaver, an Amish woman that traveled from Michigan to support those in Pennsylvania, said it best, "We can tell people about Christ and actually show you in our walk that we forgive, not just say it."
But how can someone forgive another when something so bad has happened? That's a great question. Is it a clear understanding that our own sin is just as bad in God's eyes? Is it being able to tap into some sort of supernatural strength from God? Is it both of these or even more? I wish I had a clear cut answer. Until I do I take comfort in knowing that not even Jesus' 12 closest friends figured it out right away.
[Jesus speaking] "And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him." And the apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"
-- Luke 17:4-5
Read the entire BreakPoint commentary