Learning the true essence of forgiveness

Have I ever really been wronged by someone? I mean, wronged by someone or some people so bad that could leave devastating repercussions? This was the question running through my head as I listened to one of the field directors employed by IJM. My answer to myself was “no”. Nothing so traumatic that the course of my life would change. But boy, I can hold a grudge..a grudge over the pettiest thing. I learned a lesson very quickly Friday night from 3 young girls who I believe were from Cambodia.
This particular field investigator was revealing a story of three young girls who had been rescued from a brothel. Did you know that the going price on a human life is around $100. More than likely that is what these girls were sold for as they entered into the most evil of worlds. Unfortunately for them, they were sold to one of the most powerful men in this area who had no conscience and no value for a human soul. These young girls were rented out multiple times a day and were expected to comply or they were beaten, deprived of food, or in some cases beaten so bad and then left to die. For these girls, this went on for months. Until IJM found them and rescued them.
Unfortunately the trauma doesn’t stop when they leave the brothels~ in order to prosecute this man and his colleagues, each girl would have to go to court and testify against him, reliving the shameful details of the months of torture they endured.
The day came when they were to go to court. The girls were very nervous and didn’t think they would be able to go through with it, but knew they had to in order for other girls to be protected in the future. The husband and wife who ran their aftercare home sat them down and told them they were like David and Goliath…David confronting this powerful giant..an unlikely story, however with God on His side, nothing was impossible. This man gave each of them a stone to carry in their pockets with one simple word on it “TRUTH”. This word representing the message they were to deliver.
As the hearing ended, and this powerful man, this Goliath, was prosecuted and charged for his crimes, the girls were weeping. Happy, yes, that justice was done. But weeping FOR this man..this man who stole from these girls and violated them in the most evil of ways. It was reported that these girls had found forgiveness for him…no grudges held, but had true forgiveness in their hearts. A forgiveness so powerful that they weeped for his soul. A forgiveness I can’t even fathom and am not sure if I ever will.
When I think of the forgiveness that Jesus has given us, I think of these girls. They are the true models of living out the love of Jesus. A lesson that I will always carry with me.