This October will mark 5 years since the Nickel Mines shootings. The Amish forgiveness story was hugely powerful and quickly spread around the world, in part because it was so unusual. People just don’t forgive, so quickly, after a crime of such magnitude.
Five years on, one wonders how much the lessons of the Amish at Nickel Mines have stuck with us.
The Young Center at Elizabethtown College is holding a forgiveness conference this September 22. An excerpt from the Young Center website explains:
Using the fifth anniversary of the tragedy at Nickel Mines as a backdrop, this one-day conference will explore the moral dilemmas arising from violence and the potential power of forgiveness for personal healing and the restoration of relationships.
The conference is open to the public, and has a registration deadline of Sep. 8. There is also an open evening program following the event, entitled “The Enduring Power of Forgiveness.” You can read more here.
Last October we had a post on the continued healing of the Amish girls’ families as well as the mother of the shooter, Terri Roberts. The first part was an excerpt of an interview with Terri, taken from the paperback edition of Amish Grace. One of the questions:
Have you been able to forgive your son?
Unforgiveness leads to self-pain, and I believe the Bible commands us to forgive. There was no doubt in my mind that I would forgive Charlie. However, the anguish I experienced was not easy to deal with. Comprehending what he had done took days and weeks to absorb. However, I knew that his actions came from unforgiveness. And seeing what others experience without forgiving–I knew this was not an option for me. He was my son, so full of love but blinded to the love of our heavenly Father. I cannot comprehend how this happened and we did not see it. Yes, I forgave my son.
The second part of the post includes comments from Donald Kraybill. When I spoke with him, he had just met with two of the Nickel Mines girls’ fathers, and shares more on how the girls’ families and schoolmates are doing.
If you haven’t read it, highly recommended. The post is here.