The original twelfth book was Truman's War, but I just couldn't stick with it. It was very interesting and I learned a lot, but I can't even tell you where it is now.
I didn't pick up anything to read for a long time. Well, I picked them up but put them right back down. Once I started reading something, but it became too predictable so I just read the last few pages and didn't feel the need to read the middle parts, so that doesn't really count.
Then I found Amish Grace lying on a table at work. Apparently someone had left it there weeks before so I was given the green light to take it if I wanted it, so I did. And I'm glad I did.
Not only did I learn so much more about the Amish culture, I was truly challenged on my views of forgiveness, pardon, reconciliation, revenge, submission, and self-denial. I was challenged to question what the Bible says, what Jesus says, about forgiveness.
Does forgiveness have a limit? Is there something that we're allowed NOT to forgive? What about the murder of a child? Because that's the basis of this book, a true story that occurred where a man murdered 5 children, then himself. Within hours, the families of those whose children were murdered, were visiting the family of the murderer and offering forgiveness.
This raises many questions. How soon is too soon to forgive? How can one forgive someone who is dead? What does my forgiveness of another person have to do with how God forgives me? What about shunning; why can't the Amish forgive their own people?
All of these questions and more are answered in this book. I highly suggest you read it and find your own answers. I did.
Forgiveness doesn't mean you forget; it doesn't mean the consequences disappear. Forgiveness is simply not holding a grudge any longer; letting go and moving on with life. Forgiveness is hard to live out, but it must be done. Especially if one claims to believe the words of Christ. To be forgiven, we must forgive.
Those are just a few tidbits I am still chewing on. I don't think I'll ever have all the answers, and I'm darn sure having the answers wouldn't make the act any easier, but I feel that I have a clearer understanding of the concept of forgiveness and the importance it should have in my life.