Forgiving horrendous acts is easier said than done

Saturday, December 15, 2018

I understand and try to practice the Christian concept of forgiveness.

I realize the biblical admonish of forgiveness, and though sometimes difficult, we should all follow the path to forgive those who have brought harm or taken actions that are patently wrong.

But there are times when forgiveness is not just difficult, but for me at least, almost impossible.

And according to news reports, one such example surfaced in Newark, N.J. this week.

Six adults were charged with beating and pouring scalding water on a 3-year-old boy over a lengthy and extended period of time.

By way of background, 12 individuals — six children and six adults — lived in a cramped, filthy apartment in a seedy section of the city.

I could write an entire column on just how this living situation is allowed to exist. But lacking the details, I’ll just let that be for now.

The six, loosely-related individuals — as you can imagine — lived off the system of government assistance and handouts.

The mother of the injured child was among those arrested.

For punishment, each of the individuals would routinely beat with their fists or a belt and then pour scalding hot water on this innocent 3 year old.

For some yet unexplained reason, none of the other five children in the household were subjected to similar horror.

The adults — five women and one man — are obviously in jail and awaiting their fate. The children are now in the custody of the state.

Now let’s return to the issue of forgiveness.

My Christian journey is obviously far from complete because, for the life of me, I cannot conjure the necessary forgiveness for these six sick individuals.

For starters, I cannot imagine what would compel anyone to inflict this level of abuse on another living creature, much less an innocent child.

And perhaps to forgive someone, you first have to have some level of understanding on what would prompt such barbaric deeds.

When I first read this news account, I turned to the comment section of the article to gauge the reader response.

And as I had imagined, the readers were far from kind or compassionate for the adults.

The unanimous reaction was most certainly not forgiveness but rather disdain and utter contempt for their crimes.

Be it the world of politics or just our mundane everyday lives, we are each offered opportunities constantly that urge us to offer forgiveness.

Sometimes — as in this case — it’s easier said than done.

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