The Scandal of Forgiveness

I am humbled by a moment that I did not expect to ever be a part of in my life.  Today a woman that I have been working with in South Africa told a story about an interaction that she had with a school principal.  I had given a talk about forgiveness the day before and this diligent and amazing woman went to the schools to follow up on the impact that our collaboration with SCORE (the organization that we are working with) was having.  She said that the principal of the school in this township (a fancy word for the areas that many Black South African’s live in) immediately asked “who is this man with no legs that the kids are telling me about?”

Then what she said would have shown me to be crying if my face was not already moist from the sweat of teaching basketball in 100 degree heat.  She said that the principal was curious as to how a man could possibly forgive a woman that was responsible for his leg being amputated.  What she said next involves some interpretation but essentially a comment was made that Christians are required to forgive.  The kids told the prinicipal that!  Additionally, after I talked about forgiveness yesterday, a man that I had never met before wanted to come and talk to me about the message that I had given in broken pieces through an interpreter.  

I was humbled for a couple of reasons, the first is the fact that God would prompt those children to take the message of forgiveness back to thier school and tell their teachers about it.  I am most humbled by the fact that God used me and the team that I am working with to bring a message of forgiveness to a group of people that are 25 years out of an era of Aparthied.  This policy that is one of the darks spots in the history of human rights, a policy that still has repercussions that are playing out today.  God allowed me to bring a message to a group of people that have had more atrocious things happened to them as a group and probably individually than I could ever imagine.  I pray that the simple message of forgiveness that I shared about the small thing that happened to me could have just a small impact in a township in South Africa that is still experiencing immense difficulties.  

Additionally, I have to make sure that I mention the amazing people that I am working with, both with my American team through Proclaim!, but also the team of South Africans (SCORE) that I am working with.  God has truly blessed this township with a group of amazing people that will be doing incredible work well beyond my time here to change the lives of people through sport, community resourcing, and the gospel.

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