Wednesday, September 2, 2009
As we forgive
I have just finished a truly profound book called As we forgive. It is about seven people's stories who survived the Rwandan genocide - a trully horrific event. The book is very moving and ones heart breaks at peoples violent anger and inhumanity to each other.
Where I found myself really stretched was in restorative justice vs retributive justice. Perhaps the toughest part was when a violent offender repents and asks for forgiveness, how do we deal with that when the crime has been so bloody, so inhumane? Should there still be retribution and punishment even if they have truly repented of their actions? The real challenge is that by seeking retribution the victim gains nothing. Their loved ones are still dead, innocence is still lost and any satisfaction is only hollow...
I found myself deeply challenged by God's grace through these survivors stories as well as my own sentiments around justice and punishment against the compassion they showed...really worth a read!