Thursday, February 12, 2009
The Power of Forgiveness
I found this incredible video on the Route 5:9 blog (Peacemakers Ministry): it shows Elwin Wilson, a former racist, fully confessing his wrongdoing and apologizing to African Americans in his town and to Congressman John Lewis, a man he assaulted 48 years ago at a bus station.
Rep. Lewis says, "I never thought this would happen. It says something about the power of love, the power of grace, and the power of people to say 'I'm sorry.'"
While the video doesn't overtly talk about the role of faith in motivating this reconciliation, it does allude to it: the commentator says that one of Wilson's deeply religious friends posed a question that would finally set him on this redemptive course. "He said, 'If you died right now, do you know where you would go?' I said, 'To hell.'"
The video ends with Wilson and Lewis encouraging other people to follow their example, both of confessing and of extending a welcoming hand to those seeking reconciliation. Amazing. Take about 4 minutes to watch this video -- it will be time well-spent.
In my intentional interim ministry I see the need for this type of spiritual breakthrough needed again and again. When it does happen the results are absolutely incredible. If God prompts you to pray for us, just pray that this is the kind of thing that we get to experience.