The Grand Rapids Press ran a lovely story of forgiveness in this morning’s paper. It’s the account of a mother who is reaching out to the incarcerated young man who shot her son.
I was struck by this woman’s realism regarding the choice confronting her. She could surrender to the temptation to wallow in anger, destroying her. Or, she could somehow experience the healing power of forgiveness.
“When you can’t change things, you have two choices,” Arntz says in a matter-of-fact tone. “You can hate or you can love. I choose love.”
She doesn’t hold out the rosily romantic (false) hope that all will be well nor does she expect that the pain of loss will ever fully subside. Her story is a realistic depiction of how seeking to inhabit forgiveness is a struggle, and straining toward redemption is both brutally tough and the most hopeful path to take.
A few years ago I reflected on the complexities of forgiveness regarding a similar story.