«Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases» Psalm 103:3
Today’s Bible verse points to the fact that God forgives sins and heals the pain, and healing is the result of forgiveness. It can also refer to healing the pain of the soul—the aftermath of sin—as it is expressed in Psalms 41:4, «Lord, be merciful to me; heal my soul, for 1 have sinned against You.» The cure, besides being a result of God’s forgiveness, also occurs when forgiveness is granted to the neighbor. In the Scriptures, both types of forgiveness are connected. God wishes that those who have received His forgiveness would be more willing to forgive their fellow men. However, some expect that time would heal their wound without taking any actions. Can time help heal all wounds?
Pastor Ruimar De Paiva had been living for seventeen months as a missionary, together with his wife and two children, on the Palau Island, situated in the Micronesia region in the Pacific Ocean. A few days before Christmas, Justin Hirosi, a construction worker who was under the influence of drugs, sneaked into the religious minister’s house with the intention of stealing. When he was caught, he beat to death three of the four members of the family. Afterwards, he kidnapped and tried to rape and strangle their ten-year-old daughter, the only survivor, whom he abandoned 5 km away from the house. The tragedy moved the community who showed their condolences in a big funeral. During the event, in a spontaneous and emotional gestures the mother of the assassinated pastor, Ruth de Pavia, took the microphone to express her pain for what happened. Then, she offered forgiveness to the murderer. When Justin’s mother, who was in the crowd, learned about it both her and Ruth tightly embraced each other and together mourned «their lost sons.» Afterwards, Ruth affirmed that forgiveness should not be regarded as something that is granted for somebody’s merits. It is rather a «voluntary act which brings healing to people.»
Ruth manifested an impressive willingness to forgive the murderer of her son, grandson and daughter-in-law. She did not wait for time to heal the wound or being away from them in order to forget. Even if time can help the healing, it will not be successful if there is no previous decision to forgive.
Remember that granting forgiveness promptly will be the most efficient cure.