Finding Forgiveness…

Today is a sad day.

Jordan has confirmed the death of pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh after a video published online by Islamic State (IS) claimed to show him being burned alive.image

This is one of hundreds of headlines that are shaking the news today.  A man, a young man not so much older than my son held captive was burned alive.  It alarmed me in ways that I just can’t quite get my head around.  And then while scrolling my Facebook feed, I found a YouTube video that speaks to Finding Forgiveness.

I watch the countless stories on television, one assassination after another, and I fear that we become numb to what’s happening on the T.V. Right in front of our eyes.  After all, it’s not like September 11, 2001.  It’s not in our sandbox.  But isn’t it?  I have all of the qualities that make me human DNA, a mother, a father, a family, friends, As did Daniel Pearl, James Foley,  Steven Sotloff, the journalistic teams in France, the Japanese men recently murdered and then young Moaz al-Kasabeh.  Killed for a differing idea. We’re losing ourselves — right at the hinge.  And then there was the Facebook feed.  Forgiving ISIS.  Hold up right?  We’ve been done such wrong, such atrocity — we’ve witnessed horror enough to last a lifetime.  Forgive ISIS.

I’m a believer in Jesus, a very imperfect believer but a believer just the same.  I wonder daily, how I can be forgiven my sins, how I’ll ever measure up, how can I be forgiven of my transgressions?  Sometimes, I’m mean, and sometimes… it’s on purpose.  Welcome to the human condition and welcome the gift of grace.  Grace is not giving me what I deserve and in place giving me something that I don’t deserve, something so much better.  Forgiveness. And so that takes us back to Forgiving ISIS.  I’ll be honest, I think I am still much too shocked right now for that — much too alarmed, and the truth, I’m not sure that I’ll get there.  I’ll pray for understanding, I’ll pray for the families that are hurting for the violence they’ve endured. I’ll probably watch this video another time, two, ten…because there is something in it that is so powerful.  I am left in absolute awe that it can be boiled down… so simply.

“We have to forgive. If not, then the pain and the hate will close the way to the grace of God.”

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