Only Forgiveness Can End the Circle of Violence

Only Forgiveness Can End the Circle of Violence

(I have derived the following story from an article by Clarence Page in the Chicago Tribune.)

On October 2, 2006 a terrible incidence of violence occurred in an Amish village in Pennsylvania. A young milk delivery truck driver entered an isolated one-room school carrying a loaded rifle. He ordered the teacher and the male pupils to leave.

Eleven young girls, the oldest 13, were lined up for killing. The oldest girl, in order to gain time for the others, asked to be shot first. She was shot and killed. Her 11 years old sister offered to be second. She too was shot, but she survived. The gunman shot all of them killing five on the spot and injuring the rest. Then he shot and killed himself.

The girls' families and the entire Amish community felt shocked and hurt but they responded in a most extraordinary manner. They reasoned: 'all deaths are God's will. So we grieve but gracefully accept His will. The killer too is dead. His family too, like us, grieves. All of us, therefore, are victims of violence.

So, few days after the tragedy, the Amish organized a caravan of buggies and went to the killer's house to offer food and condolences to his grieving family.

October 14, 2006