Forgiveness Beyond Comprehension
I could understand the Amish reaching out to the family of Charles Carl Roberts, the man who slaughtered five Amish girls in a senseless rampage. After all, his family -- his wife and children -- were also victims. The man they knew as a loving husband and father turned out to be a monster.
I can almost understand the Amish forgiving Roberts himself. After all, that's what Christ tells us to do. But they seemed to forgive him immediately. If it were me, it would take years to get to that point. In fact, I might never be able to forgive something like that.
So, when I read this story, I have to admit the first thing that went through my mind was this: "Aren't they taking this forgiveness stuff a little too far?"
Of course I know that they aren't...they are doing exactly what Christ tells us to do. It is my own deficiencies that cause me to ask that question.
I don't see eye-to-eye with the Amish on a lot of things but I respect their choices and way of life. They are pacifists, but they are the kind that I can respect. They don't try to force their ways on others and they are not selective in how far their pacifism extends. (For example, some pacifists will condemn someone for defending themselves more than they will condemn the person attacking them -- this, to me, is deeply immoral.)
The forgiveness and courage shown by the Amish is an amazing and beautiful thing. It's more than I can comprehend.