«And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as Cod in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).
Amy was a young woman with high principles: determination, courage, and above all, compassion. Her desire to bring justice and equality into the world made her pursue higher education courses on international relations at Stanford University (California, USA). After graduation, she was granted a Fulbright scholarship in order to get involved in a project promoting equality and the fight against racial segregation in South Africa. At the end of her stay, just two days before she had to go back home, a group of young people from the Guguletu village stopped her, dragged her out of the vehicle and stabbed her to death. Her parents, fiancé who was anticipating their getting married soon, her friends, and relatives were devastated by such an unfair and senseless loss. They were filled with anger, pain, and hate—all-natural human reactions to such a horrendous act.
Amy’s parents, however, showed a character of pure moral nobility. Months after the shocking loss, they traveled to the site of the events and met with the murderers ‘families and with the murderers themselves, offering them forgiveness. They also founded an institution that today functions in South Africa: the Amy Biehl Foundation which promotes health, education, arts, music, and recreation programs for the less fortunate. Two of the young assassins, Ntobeko Peni and Easy Nofemela, who were taught that all members of the white race are evil enemies, have repented and have been rehabilitated. They both work at the Amy Biehl Foundation and share Amy’s legacy.
Those parents’ generous forgiveness produced a series of peaceful reactions and good feelings. They freed themselves of anger, pain, and hate. The assassins were transformed through the power of forgiveness. Many were inspired by the parents ‘forgiveness. Today, many people are still being blessed and benefiting from the foundation.
The forgiveness that God offers us is much more complete. It is so powerful that it invites us to forgive our fellowmen, as today’s verse tells us. Maybe the Lord does not invite you to forgive someone who killed a loved one of yours, but He does ask you to or give your spouse, child, parent, neighbor, or relative. If you have been the target of any offense, pray today that the Holy Spirit will soften your heart so that you could forgive, just as God also forgives you in Christ.