3B. that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness

Of course, we can’t all be Amish.

This article describes the continuing relationship between Terri Roberts and the community whose children’s lives were taken by Terri’s son in 2016.

It opens with an unexplored and potent image: the word “Forgiven” hanging on the wall of Terri’s sun room. “The word — and the room itself, a gift built by her Amish neighbors….”

The article refers to Amish forgiveness as decisional, a more judicial assent, rather than emotional, a heartfelt gesture. Some research suggests decisional forgiveness brings healing, or “forgetting,” more slowly and less completely than emotional forgiveness can.

Sometimes it is better to build the room where it can take place than wait for the feelings to prompt me.

“I’ve always said and continue to say we have a lot of hard work to be what the people brag about us to be.”

This story starts with a decision, and does not end with a forgetting. But it also has this sunroom; a space not nearly vast enough for the spirit of forgiveness, but it is molded to every angle, enfolding  every object, pressed on every face within it.


I’m writing short reflections on the Franciscan peace prayer through Lent. The series begins with 1A, right over here.


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