01/25/15 Rev. David McArthur with Robert Plath & Takashi Tanemori
Year of Forgiveness
Ghandi said, “Forgiveness is not a weakness, it is a strength.” A Course In Miracles says, “All illness comes from unforgiveness.” A survivor of Auschwitz, Eva Kor, learned that the greatest gift, one no one—even Dr. Mengele—could take away from her, was forgiveness. “It’s for me, not for him” she said. “I want to be free of the darkness, not suffer in unforgiveness.” Forgiveness is the greatest miracle of all. When Robert Plath was 13 his father died and he became head of the family, and life was a fight. “It took years for me to get over it.” You want to heal and have your heart open up. Take the cover off your light. It is most heroic to get over all that revenge and live open and free.
From 1900 to the year 2000, 100 million people died at the hands of fellow human beings. Takashi Tanemori was 8 when the American bombing of Hiroshima took his entire family, from his baby sister to his grandparents. He had no one and nowhere to go. He ate at the dump with the rats. His father had schooled him, regardless of the cultural pressures, to “live your life for the benefit of others… This is the simplest way to make the world a safer and peaceful place.” But he vowed to avenge his family, and in ten years he was able to go to America to do that.
He was not welcomed with open arms in America, and felt betrayed again by the “Christian nation”. He went to an immigrant work camp. A nurse told him of the One of endless love, but “I worried I hadn’t avenged my father, that I hadn’t kept my word to him.”. It took forty years, but he did learn about true love and forgiveness. Now he is free as a bird. He turned from revenge to forgiveness. I learned to avenge my father by learning forgiveness. “The greatest way to have revenge upon your enemy is to learn to forgive. And now I fly in the blue sky! It is the ultimate demonstration of love.”
We carry with us what no longer serves the beings we really are. Robert Plath and Takashi Tanemori have opened a door for us to let us know there is a beautiful way for us. We can forgive and release; it’ll bring us to peace. Take this moment. I commit to forgiveness. I commit to forgiveness. I commit to forgiveness.
It is said that time has the power to heal. But forgiveness is beyond time. You have the power to move that rock by forgiveness. The whole world can change and the peace cannot be contained.