I did an interview for a podcast for Foundational Missions. This interview was going as most conversations around my 9-11 experience until the interviewer asked me a question that no one has put in front of me yet. The question was simply “have you forgiven them?” meaning the terrorists. It caught me completely off guard and could not give a proper answer. In fact, I am not sure I have decided yet. What does forgiveness look like? How do you forgive someone that could be that evil?
People often question why would a loving God allow evil. The question does instigate some interesting dialogue between people from a philosophical perspective. But this is personal. I imagine there are many that ask the same question around their own struggles and look for answers. The question is hard to answer and often is the source of much heartache.
I know some can't really get past that this world has evil in it and want it eradicated. While I understand their sentiment, till I was asked about forgiveness I really never dealt with the idea that I needed to forgive anyone in this case. Superficially I focused on the event.
Recently I was reminded of the story of Joseph. His brothers rejected him, sold him into slavery, he ends up in prison on false charges. Then through a series of events by the grace of God he becomes the right-hand man of the Pharaoh of Egypt. You might know the story it is pretty well told.
When his brothers came into Egypt to ask him for food he could have gotten payback. Certainly his brothers expected it. What stood out for me in light of the question posed to me. It is not that he forgave his brothers. But he went out of his way to help them remove their guilt.
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. Gen 50:20-21 (ESV)
While I cannot say I have come to grip with forgiveness of the terrorists. I do wonder how many evil things God has been able to use for our good. As I work out the answer to the question of forgiveness. I am reminded of how good God was to me on 9-11.
Author - Guy Yasika
Looking to profess my faith to anyone that will listen.