Archive for September, 2013

Juveniles Arrested. . . and Forgiven

The Record, Stockton, CA – Jaime Ramirez, a 28-year-old mentally-ill man, was shot to death on Aug.16 when he interrupted a burglary at the home he shared with his parents and other relatives. Police have arrested a 13-year-old boy and two 14-year-old boys on suspicion of homicide in connection with the killing and for allegedly stealing electronic items worth less than $300.

“We don’t have much, and what they stole wasn’t worth my brother’s life,” Beatrice Ramirez said. “But we can’t have hate toward them, because our religion teaches us to forgive. We forgive them. We’ve been praying a lot, and we know a lot of people in the community have been praying for us.”

The victim’s brother, Victor Ramirez, also expressed forgiveness for the killers. He described his brother as “very friendly” but said he suffered from mental illness.

“It’s been difficult, but we’ll get through this,” Beatrice Ramirez said. “We’ll remember the good times and the memories. God decided to take him now, and now he’s somewhere where there’s peace.”

Read the full story: Three young teens arrested in killing; relatives grieve.

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How can we teach ourselves to bear the pain that comes our way if we find no purpose to the suffering? It seems so impossible.

If it is impossible to bear the pain caused by another’s unjust behavior, then one solution is to search for this kind of reasonable purpose. What might be some purposes of suffering on behalf of another who has hurt us? Here are four possibilities: a) bearing suffering patiently helps us to become stronger persons; b) as we bear suffering for another, we do not displace the suffering and anger onto others; c) as we bear the suffering for another, we do not displace the suffering onto our offender, which is a merciful gift to him or her; d) all of the monotheistic faiths exhort people to imitate God. If you are a monotheistic believer, then you are becoming more like God by bearing with others’ injustice in a patient and merciful way.

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The Wounded Do the Wounding

Think about one person who has hurt you. Is it possible that the person hurt you out of his or her own woundedness? In other words, is there something in his or her past that he or she is carrying, something so painful that the wounds were thrown onto you?

I do not ask this for you to find an excuse or to “let it go.” What happened to you was wrong, is wrong, and always will be wrong. There are no excuses here, but there may be wounds he or she suffered.

I ask so that you can understand him or her a little more deeply.

Might the one who wounded the one who wounded you have been wounded by still another person? If we trace it back far enough, we could have a long line of people who have wounded the next one in line, who wounded the next one, all the way up to you, who was wounded and did not deserve it.

Please try to picture the truth inside this person. If he or she has been unjustly wounded by another, I ask you to see it.


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Seeing Beyond the Tears

Sometimes when we are caught up in grief and anger, it seems like this is all there will ever be now in our life. Permanent tears. Permanent anger.

Yet, please take a look at two different File:Blue-tears-eye-ball2.jpgtimes in your life in which you were steeped in heartache or rage. The tears came…..and they left.

Today it may seem like these will never end…..but they will.

Take a lesson from your own past. The pains were temporary.

They are temporary even now.

Forgiveness helps them to be temporary.


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Trayvon Martin’s Mother: “God is healing my heart”

Daily Hampshire Gazette, Northampton, MA – After more than a year on the front page of newspapers and journals with cameras continually in their faces as the murder/manslaughter prosecution wended its way towards an eventual acquittal, Trayvon Martin’s parents are amazing the world with their public grace and forbearance.

“I wouldn’t have applied for this position, but I gracefully accept,” says Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton. “I am going to do the best job I can and try to help other families.

Are there any circumstances under which she could forgive George Zimmerman? “Yes,” she says.

“The spiritual side of me knows that eventually I will have to forgive him so that I don’t block my blessings. I know that. Am I ready to do that now? I am not. That’s something I pray for. I pray for my forgiveness. Because just like I want God to forgive me, I want to forgive others. But, I’m just not at that point right now where I can say that I want to forgive him. God is healing my heart,” she says.

In the meantime, Sybrina says she wants all of us to “remain peaceful.”

Read the full story: “Sybrina Fulton’s Forgiveness”

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