Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound

This is long, but so worth the read ...

From Joyce Meyers' "Approval Addiction". This hit me between the eyes - again!

"A frail black woman about seventy years old slowly rises to her feet. Across the room and facing her are several white police officers. One of them is Mr. Van der Broek, who has just been tried and found implicated in the murders of both the woman's son and her husband some years before. Van der Broek had come to the woman's home, taken her son, shot him at point blank range and then set the young man's body on fire whle he and his officers partied nearby.

Several years later, Van der Broek and his men had returned for her husband as well. For months she knew nothing of his whereabouts. Then almost two years after her husband's disappearance, Van der Broek came back to fetch the woman herself.

How well she remembers in vivid detail that evening - going to a place beside a river where she was shown her husband, bound and beaten, but still strong in spirit, lying on a pile of wood. The last words she heard from his lips as the officers poured gasoline over his body and set him aflame were, "Father, forgive them ..."

Now the woman stands in the courtroom and listens to the confessions offered by Mr. Van de Broek. A member of South Africa's Truth and Reconcilliation Commission turns to her and asks, "So what do you want? How should justice be done to this man who has so brutally destroyed your family?"

"I want three things.

I want first to be taken to the place where my husband's body was burned so that I can gather up the dust and give his remains a decent burial ...

My husband and my son were my only family. I want secondly, therefore, for Mr. Van der Broek to become my son. I would like for him to come twice a month to the ghetto and spend a day with me so that I can pour out on him whatever love I still have remaining in me.

Third, this is also the wish of my husband. I would kindly ask someone to come to my side and lead me across the courtroom so that I can take Mr. Van der Broek in my arms and embrace him and let him know that he is truly forgiven."

As the court assistants came to lead the elderly woman across the room, Mr. Van der Broek, overwhelmed by what he had just heard, fainted. As he did, those in the courtroom; family, friends, and neighbours - all victims of decades of oppression and injustice - began to sing, softly by assuredly.

"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me ..."

Let me tell you why this is so powerful for me today ...

Yesterday as I was waiting for Robert to call, I was thinking about how it would work with us and Nancy since he is living there and she is still so controlling and angry with me.

I prayed, oh Lord - once again and again, that He would help me to truly from my heart forgive and anoint me to be His hand and heart extended to them both. I do not want to carry this anger and pain any longer.

Well, He dropped something into my spirit as only God can do.

"You have Nancy to thank for this day."

What? Are you serious, Lord!?? How can You say that! After all she has done, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum.

And it was more a sense than even His still small voice. It was a "knowing" that only those who have truly heard the voice of the Lord understand.

Had Nancy not continued to love Robert as a mother - where I was not able to do - he might have been dead by now. He could have been a drug addict ... in jail ... on the streets .. who knows? But because she provided a 'safe' grounding place all these years for him, he is alive and flourishing today.

Oh my.

I am undone.

Thank You, Jesus. Thank you, Nancy.

*sob* And with that came total and complete healing and forgiveness from my heart.


Only God can do that.

Glad you read this far ... isn't He good???


Gayla said...

Whoa, Carolyn. I hardly know what to say.

What a story, both yours and the illustration.

God will honor your obedience in the forgiving, and I know you're finding joy in it as well.

God bless you, my sister.

Chris Malan said...

You should know that the Van der Broek story is a lie. It never happened. Go to where it's discussed. Shame on you for posting such lies.