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Forgiveness: the saving grace

作者:英语作文网   来源: www.en369.cn  

For years Tom Anderson's life was withered up by the memory of his part in a fraternity adventure that resulted in the death of one of his classmates. He and his wife separated after six years of marriage. Then the news about Tom changed. His wife Betty came back; he earned a fine position. One day he told me what had changed his life. "I used to think, `Nothing can undo what I have done.' The thought of my guilt would stop me in the middle of a smile or a handshake. It put a wall between my wife and me.

Then I had an unexpected visit from the person I dreaded most to see -- the mother of the college classmate who died. "Years ago", she said, "I found it in my heart, through prayer, to forgive you. Betty forgave you.

So did your friends and employers.' She paused, and then said sternly, "You are the one person who hasn't forgiven Tom Anderson. Who do you think you are to stand out against the people of this town and the Lord Almighty?" "I looked into her eyes and found there a kind of permission to be the person I might have been if her boy had lived. For the first time in my adult life I felt worthy to love and be loved."

It is only through forgiveness of our mistakes that we gain the freedom to learn from experience. But forgiving our shortcomings doesn't mean denying that they exist. On the contrary, it means facing them honestly, realistically.

Can a person be all-forgiving and still be human? A scientist I know spent four years as a slave laborer in Germany. His parents were killed by Nazi street bullies; his younger sister and older brother were sent to the gas chambers. This is a man who has every reason to hate. Yet he is filled with a love of life that he conveys to everyone who knows him. He explained it to me the other day: "In the beginning I was filled with hatred. Then I realized that in hating I had become my own enemy. Unless you forgive, you cannot love. And without love, life has no meaning." Forgiveness is truly the saving grace.

 

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