Forgiveness does not come easily. If someone has done you wrong, the impulse is to hurt them back. The pain of what happened is hard to let go.
Joseph Tkach, of Grace Communion International, relates how forgiveness was possible for Eric Lomax, a prisoner of war in World War II, and what happened when he came face to face with his torturer almost a lifetime later.
"At the height of World War II, Japanese forces attacked Singapore and captured British Officer Eric Lomax. Over the next few months, he was forced to work on the deadly Burma-Siam railway. Every night Lomax and his fellow prisoners planned their escape: creating maps, building a radio and storing food. But before they could make their attempt, they were discovered.As punishment, the Japanese soldiers brutally tortured Lomax. At each session, a translator was present – his name: Nagase Takashi. For Lomax, this man became the voice of the enemy. And in his heart, he swore that one-day, he would make him pay.
Fifty years later, Lomax got his chance....
While it can be difficult to let go of our hurts and pains, we know that in Christ, we have a sympathetic high priest who has suffered alongside us. He knows each of our wounds and is willing to take them from us – if we only let him. And he not only takes them but also undoes them, so that they are made to contribute to our eternal benefit--- by sharing in Christ’s own crucifixion and resurrection. Although Eric Lomax might not have known it, when he forgave Nagase Takashi, he was actively participating in Christ’s divine mission, extending the healing grace of our Creator God to the world.
For the full transcript see: "Total Forgiveness" at www.GCI.org
"The Railway Man" the autobiographical novel by Eric Lomax, also produced as a movie in 2013, gives a searing account of war, brutality, and forgiveness. Perhaps you have read the book or seen the movie? Why not share your impressions with us.