“The Power of Forgiveness”
By Susan Porter Robinson
Wed, Mar 18, 4pm
St Paul’s Church
All are welcome
By Miguel Rangel
It’s safe to say that most of us, probably all of us, have been offended, hurt, or worse, betrayed at some time. “I can forgive but not forget” is a fair and very human truth. But forgiving is another thing. It may take months, even years, to forgive a deep hurt, but when some grace moves us towards forgiveness the relief is our’s, not the offender’s. The Chinese have a well-known saying that when we harbor hate, it’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Yet letting go of long-standing anger is one of the deepest struggles of the soul.
In this session at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Susan Porter Robinson, an international speaker, co-author of Going to Plan B: How You Can Cope, Regroup and Start Your Life on a New Path, and former vice president for lifelong learning at the American Council on Education, will lead a presentation that includes points to consider, discussion, and excerpts from the documentary The Power of Forgiveness. We are familiar with most of its episodes, including the most painful. Here is the description of one that was excruciating, when a loved one’s actions are beyond our imagination.
“On October 2, 2006, a gunman entered an Amish one-room schoolhouse, shooting ten girls, killing five, then finally taking his own life. This is his mother’s story,”—Forgiven, Terri Roberts. The enormous generosity of the Amish community and this mother’s struggle to forgive her son and somehow herself, are poignant reminders of a most challenging journey.
Our own journeys will likely be less devastating, but they are journeys nonetheless—and they are ours. This is not a how-to class if such were possible, but a chance to consider the power of forgiveness and perhaps experience some relief. Join us for this time of reflection as we witness the anguish of the Amish community, the pain of victims of 9/11, and the loving lessons Irish teachers are using with small children. All have struggled to find peace in untenable circumstances. Some have arrived, some still haven’t, but all are wrestling with one of life’s greatest challenges: learning to forgive.