Charles Carl Roberts IV broke into a small Amish schoolhouse there and brutally executed five young schoolgirls and seriously wounded five others simply because he felt slighted by God.
But the Amish parents of the dead and injured girls forgave Roberts almost immediately and raised money to help his wife and children through their ordeal.
The world was shocked that they could so easily forgive the man. “Our Bible teaches us forgiveness,” they said. “It’s as simple as that.”
Their forgiveness doesn’t change the fact that they struggle every day with the pain and anguish of their loss. But the ability to forgive even the most heinous of crimes against humanity is a strength, not a weakness.
It is what allows them to accept life as it is, not as they wish it to be and to move on with their lives without carrying around the blackness of hatred and ill-will that would surely emotionally cripple most of us.
They don’t do it for the perpetrators, they do it for themselves.