Sunday night, I just happened to come across a movie on LMN (Lifetime Movie Network, yeah I know) that was just starting. It was called Amish Grace. I tivo-d it and ended up watching it later that night. It took me by surprise. I wasn't prepared to be struck so hard by a Lifetime movie. There were most definitely some cheesy parts in it; After all, it wouldn't be a Lifetime movie without all the cheese! Still though, the message of the movie was so powerful, I just had to share.
Remember this? That horrific Amish school shooting back in October, 2006? "Amish Grace" (the LMN movie) went through the events of the day, but more importantly the events that followed.
I have always thought highly of the Amish. My dad has worked with them for as long as I can remember. I have vivid memories of visiting their farms and running around with the little Amish boys and girls, petting their animals and sneaking peaks of the...GULP...outhouses! We went to furniture auctions, cookouts, and a group of Amish men even helped my dad build our house (Ryan and I's AND my parents') from the ground up! They're just great people.
Okay, okay- back to the movie. I couldn't hold back the tears as they dramatized the shots being fired- knowing well that five little girls lost their lives that day. But the waterworks really began AFTER the dramatic shooting scene. Apparently, after this madman barricaded the one room school house shut, hogtied and shot the girls, the Amish had one thing on their mind: forgiveness. In fact, immediately following the shootings the elders (including a father of one of the dead girls) got a ride over to the widow's (Mrs. Roberts- the shooter's wife) house to pay their condolences to HER. To offer HER prayer. To offer HER some comfort. To let her know they would help HER out in any way they could. I was baffled. BLOWN AWAY. It's not often that you find someone (let alone a group of people) that truly practice what they preach. Of course, me being, well, ME, this movie got me thinking about my own life. I (thank the DEAR LORD) have not suffered any kind of a tragedy like these Amish people, yet I harvest grudges and resentment about the most ridiculous things. In the grand scheme of things, its actually really sickening to think about- I can't forgive a family member for ((this or that)) but these people can forgive (and TRULY forgive) the man who murdered their daughters??? And offer compassion to his wife? Completely mind blowing.
I have a new found respect for these people. Thanks to a cheesy Lifetime movie, I really feel like this is the first time in a long time I've been able to look at forgiveness from such a humbling point of view.
With all that rambling said.... I really want to know (if you feel comfortable enough to share) if you TRULY, TRULY could forgive your child's murderer. Not just say it, but follow through. It's a horrible thing to think about, and God-willing none of us will ever face that. But, I can't honestly say I could. In fact, right now, in my walk, I can say with certainty I could not forgive that person. So, please share... this movie really got me thinking... and I'm just curious.
And...if you have time, try and find "Amish Grace" so you can see for yourself the truly amazing spirit of these people.