The headline reads:

Families of South Carolina church massacre victims offer forgiveness

As the young white man charged with murdering nine people inside an historic black church in South Carolina stood blankly silent during a court hearing on Friday, relatives of slain worshippers addressed him one by one, offering tearful words of grief and forgiveness.

In the midst of raging discussions about guns, violence, the confederate flag, etc. etc.  This community of faithful disciples shifts our focus and, hopefully, the discussion to one of the least understood, underused and most Christ like  of human emotions:  forgiveness

So, is dedicating this week to forgiveness and how people under the most horrific of circumstances found it in the depths of their soul to forgive.

Today, we are focusing on the Amish community that lost the precious lives of 15 little girls in an act of violence perpetrated by Charles C Roberts.


On October 2, 2006, Charles C. Roberts walked into an Amish schoolhouse armed with three guns. There were 26 students in the schoolhouse. He allowed the 15 boys, a pregnant female student, and three other adult females with infant children to leave safely, but held the remaining 15 girls captive and tied their feet together.

His deranged rationale for his actions was that he wanted to exact revenge for something that had happened in his past. Notes that he left behind indicate anger toward himself and God for the death of his newborn daughter almost nine years earlier.

Authorities were alerted, and soon arrived on the scene. Not long after police arrived, Roberts started shooting, killing three children and himself. Two more children died later from their injuries.

In the face of such tragedy, one can only imagine the hurt and anger the loved ones of the victims might feel. In an extraordinary demonstration of forgiveness, members of the Amish community, including family members of the deceased victims, attended Robert’s funeral and comforted his widow. The Amish community did not stop there—they also offered financial support to Robert’s widow.

We honor the Amish community, who in the face of such tragedy, chose forgiveness.  We honor them while we, also, pray that we might as individuals seek the grace that allows  of others who might have offended us in small things-so, that if called upon, we can forgive in matters of great consequence.