I just finished reading a section from the book "The Hole in our Gospel" by Richard Stearns, president of World Vision" about forgiveness and I want to share it with you.
The story is about a woman named Margaret, six months pregnant, living amidst the violence of Northern Uganda's war against the rebel Lord's Resitance Army. One day Margaret was working in her garden with several other women. A group of child soldiers came out of the bush and attacked and killed the women, all except for Margaret. They believed that it would bring bad luck to kill a pregnant woman. Instead, their commander instructed the child soliders to cut off her ears, nose, and lips believing that her subsequent death would not be on their hands. They did the unthinkable and left Margaret to die.
She was found and rushed to a hospital where she survived and three months later gave birth to James. She was moved to World Vision's Children of War Center where she received trauma counseling, support, and later training as a seamstress. You can imagine her surprise when months later the commander who had given the order to maim her was brought into the same center. He had been captured and brought to the center to receive counseling and rehabilitation. World Vision worked with this man and continued working with Margaret trying to lessen her anxiety and exploring the possibility of forgiveness.
"After weeks had passed, the man confessed to his involvement in Margarent's attack, even as she worked through her own fears and anger. Finally, a meeting was arranged. The man asked Margaret to forgive him. And Margaret, reaching deeply into the source of all forgiveness - Jesus Christ - forgave. Here again was the power of the gospel to redeem and restore, and to meet evil and turn it back. On the wall of the Children of War Center are photographs of that day - Margaret and this man who had mutiltated her. He is holding little James in his arms as she stands next to them - smiling without lips."