How to forgive enemies—and loved ones

Immaculée Ilibagiza, a Catholic woman and native of Rwanda, is a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. In her book, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, she writes about how she hid for 91 days in a 3 ft. x 4 ft. bathroom with seven other women. At one point while hiding, she could hear the killers right outside the door. As she prayed for God’s protection, she realized God wanted her to forgive the men who were hunting her. Why do you expect the impossible from me? I asked God. How can I forgive people who are trying to kill me, people who may have already slaughtered my family and friends? It isn’t logical for me to forgive these killers. Let me pray for the victims instead, for those who’ve been raped and murdered and mutilated”¦let me pray for justice. God, I will ask you to punish those wicked men, but I cannot forgive them—I just can’t. (92-93) Unconditional love Eventually, however, Immaculée began to understand the power of God’s unconditional love. Relying on the strength and power of that love, she finally did forgive all of the killers. She even forgave the men who killed [...]

Jesus is love; Jesus is God

I met Alice, the year I turned 14, at the community ice skating rink. After that night, I would beg my mom to take me to the rink every week. I didn’t do much skating that winter though. I spent most of the time in the warming hut, talking with Alice. I remember trying to sound adult and sophisticated. I wanted to say a lot of things, but I couldn’t quite say them the right way. I remember wanting Alice to get me. And somehow, she did. And I wanted to kiss her. I’d never kissed a girl before, but I knew this was the girl I wanted to kiss. When we were together, I’d talk and talk and talk—somehow hoping to talk myself into a kiss. But I was way too nervous and just couldn’t work up the courage. The winter wore on and my fervor for Alice grew. Every time I saw her, I felt like my heart was on fire. I’d begin to sweat even though it was freezing cold at the ice rink. And soon, the skating season was drawing to a close. I resolved that I was going to show my love for Alice. I [...]