Sumayya*, a Yazidi girl, had attended a seminar about forgiveness at our center. I later visited her at home to ask her about the seminar and her thoughts about the topic. Her mother and two of her siblings were present as well.
Sumayya shared that she couldn’t understand how to forgive people who committed horrible acts such as Dae’sh (ISIS) had done to the Yazidi people. They had killed men, raped women and young girls, and destroyed their homes and possessions. Those who survived had to leave their homes and become refugees.
I agreed with her that it is very difficult to forgive those who hurt us deeply. We can’t do this by our own power. We need the help of the Holy Spirit. Being able to forgive others, regardless of what they have done, will set us free and help us to be what God intends us to be. We can be loving and productive when we forgive others. A person who does not forgive is like one who carries another person on his back. He will struggle and will have a backache from carrying the burden. The person who is carried will not suffer at all; the suffering
falls on the person who is unable to forgive.
I also shared with them that God is just. At some point, these people who did so much harm will have to face God’s judgment. We can leave vengeance to Him.
Sumayya grasped what I was trying to explain to them. She was very grateful for my effort to help her understand the importance of forgiveness. Also, the fact that God will deal with each human according to His unquestionable justice set her free from her feelings of hatred toward those who hurt her and her people.
Pray for Sumayya and her family to grow in their trust of God’s love and His justice.
*name has been changed
Photo Credit: Trevor Owen