Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Forgiving But Not Forgetting

My daughter Rebecca is studying health care delivery and policy in the townships around Cape Town in South Africa.

She just sent this note and the pic above. Thought you might be encouraged.

I had a good day. We met with the Amy Biehl foundation...the one started by the parents of the stanford girl who was murdered here in 1989 in a political rally. Her mother showed us around along with one of the other leaders of the organization. He was one of the men who killed her daughter, but was pardoned under the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Amy's parents didn't want him to go to jail, but to devote his life to a good cause. They are close friends and he comes to the U.S. to stay with their family. It is a pretty incredible story. I find myself thinking about forgiveness a lot here. There have been some pretty striking examples of people's amazing capacity to forgive. It is something I want to think about more. I'm going to email Linda Biehl, Amy's mom, and ask if I can go have coffee with her sometime. I want to hear more about her story. Well, I need to get back to work.


Anonymous John Teter said...

Wordcat, thank you for the encouraging post and the great testimony from Rebecca. It truly is mind-boggling what God can help us to forgive. Your daughter is giving her life to such weighty, Kingdom matters. You must be very proud.

She also seems to have your relational skills. I love that she would follow up with Amy for coffee. I hope she learns much from this amazing woman.

3:31 PM  
Blogger 3wishes said...

I hope when Rebecca gets back to the US she can fix the American Health Care needs espresso coffee talk...and quick

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't been able to think of much else since I read this . It struck me at first like a knive and I couldn't believe it. Are there actually people who can do this kind of forgiving? What a remarkable testimony to the healing power of forgiveness. Their daughter's passion for justice lives on and reconciliation of the most profound type has occured. I shared this story with a group of 6th graders I teach and they were truly struck by it. The seven kids in the group reacted differently qhen they first heard it and yet concluded with, "Wow, that is so nice. It was the right thing to do." Right is not always easy, but aren't we glad when it happens.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Wordcat said...

Yeah, I'm not sure I could have forgiven the guy the way they did. Rebecca didn't mention that Amy Biehl was a non-violent anti-apartheid activist or that she was killed by violent anti-apartheid activists who were operating under the philosophy, "one settler, one bullet" at that time. For them her white skin was a license to kill.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Matthew Pascal said...

Powerful story from your daughter Wordcat. Thanks for posting it for our encouragement.

I had the priviledge during the 2 years I spent living in South Africa to meet a few people who had similar stories of forgiveness and reconciliation to tell. It was, and always is, extremely encouraging and challenging for me when I encounter and spend time with people who are actually living out the Gospel in such real and powerful ways. It gives someone like myself, whose actions so very often fall short of my words, a real-life example that inspires and encourages me to keep on keepin' on.

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read that Amy Biehl was in South Africa on a Fullbright scholarshop and was working to help end apartheid. She was working in voter registration in the townships to get black Africans and women registered before the first all race election. She was riding in a car with three black Africans when the car was stopped and pelted with rocks by a group of angry young black men. They pulled her from the car and beat her with stones and stabbed her while her friends yelled to stop, she was a comrade. They didn't listen and saw only her white face. The "one settler, one bullet" philosophy was in place and she was a victim of it while she was trying to help make a change for those who killed her. It makes these acts of forgiveness all the more amazing.

5:10 PM  

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