J Walking

J Walking

The lesson of forgiveness

Four years ago, a little girl in Boston was shot, partially paralyzed, and sentenced to life in a wheelchair. Last year she entered a Boston courtroom and said to the man who shot her, “I forgive you.” It so moved him he changed his not-guilty plea to guilty and apologized. Watch the story here:Perhaps when Jesus said, “Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” he saw little Kai.

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posted August 2, 2007 at 4:37 pm

Robert Coles tells the story of Ruby Bridges – as a moment that changed everything for him in 1960. The mobs in New Orleans could have torn apart the little girl in the white dress who was going each day to a school where there waas only one other student. One day she turned to the mob and spoke – a dangerous thing to do . Dr. Coles later asked her why she had done that. Ruby replied that she had forgotten to pray for them. She told him that her grandmother had instructed her to pray for the people – because they don’t know what they’re doing. Dr. coles recalls the moment over and over again in his work. That moment that a six year old taught him about Jesus. The words, “forgive them Father for they know no what they do.” are immensely important as we progress toward the Kingdom.
This little girl and Ruby Bridges teach as. We must listen and learn. The Amish taught us all about forgiveness last November. Kai Lee teaches us once more. God is with us.
We learn when there is a model in front of us. I want to be like Jesus, but that seems so beyond my human capacity. So, I find models who have done it well – imitated Jesus. There are so many now – MLK. Ruby Bridges, Jim Wallis, Richard Rohr, Fred Rogers and now this little girl. It now seems possible to imitate Christ – to be in the world without vengeance, without cynicism, without self-centered desire. Part of our human journey is finding such people. They are rarely famous and all have a humility that trancends their ego. someone once told me that you could pick out a saint if a person reached the age of 40 and had no cynicism in their hearts. Robert Coles is such a man. He was taught by a six year old.

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posted August 2, 2007 at 5:16 pm

Thank you for this link! It offers a profound lesson on conflict resolution. Our society condones the release of anger and the satisfaction of revenge (think death penalty and our response to terrorism) But the opposite notion – that love, “tough love,” forgiveness and empathy are keys to reversing anti-social behavior – is, I believe, beginning to take root.
The Buddha Diaries

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Lisa Marzonie

posted September 28, 2008 at 10:10 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting this in a “public” forum. After much prayer and contemplation, I firmly believe that lack of true forgiveness, which seems often to accompany a lack of humility, is at the root of many problems from the interpersonal level to the corporate and international levels. Conversely, forgiveness is a KEY which could disarm many problems. I have become very sensitive to the issue and see the negative results of a lack of forgiveness daily. How is it that “followers” of the major world religions can continually dismiss the directives to Love and Forgive our neighbors? We certainly are reaping the fruits of our inability to take these mandates to heart.

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