Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Immaculee Ilibagiza

A few years back I read a story about a woman who survived the horrible genocide in Rwanda. For three months she hid in a tiny tiny bathroom with 6 other woman. God literally hid the bathroom door from the killers for three months even after searching the house they were in many many times. I am currently reading her next book called "Led By Faith." It is about letting go and releasing your offender. Immaculee forgave the man who chopped up her mom and brother. She went to him in prison, and forgave him face to face, and was set free. ONLY by the miracle of God can we do such an act. Only by the hand of God could her brother be praying for the men that were killing him as they were cutting off his limbs. Only God. WOW!

After the war and getting a job with the U.N, this is what she writes.

"I'd made a fresh start, but one thing remained for me to truly make a new life: I needed to practice what God had taught me in hiding by fully forgiving my family's killers. So, in a prison near my hometown, I went to see Felicien, a man whose machete had struck both Mom and Damascene.
        Like so many others who had become killers, Felicien's soul was in turmoil. When the evil fog had finally lifted from his heart, all he had left was remorse and guilt. He'd been a tall, proud man whom I'd admired as a child-a business leader and local politician who wore nice suits and always paid attention to his appearance- but now his body was decaying and his mind was on the verge of madness. Groveling on the ground before me wand unable to look me in the eyes, he was too consumed with shame and regret to ask for my pardon, which I could see he desperately wanted.
      Standing in that prison, I knew that Felicien and I, both killer and survivor, were on the same path. We both needed the healing power of God's forgiveness to move forward if our country was to survive and rise from the bitterness, blood, and suffering of the holocaust.
      With all my heart, I forgave Felicien. And I believe that, in his heart, he accepted my forgiveness."


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