"Practice Forgiveness"

I was in the presence of greatness. The more she talked the more I knew I was in the presence of greatness. It was her walk, her talk, her demeanor that screamed greatness.

When I think of forgiveness, I think of Immaculee Ilibagiza. Immaculee is the survivor of the Rwandan holocaust and author of the book Live to Tell. Immaculee travels the world to discuss her Rwandan holocaust experience and speak of the power of forgiveness. She was featured on 60 minutes and PBS channels with Dr Wayne Dyer.

For 91 days Immaculee hid in a small bathroom with 7 other woman under the fear of death in a pastors home. Any soft noise could lead to their demise. The women lived with limited food and water. At one point, the rebels were scouring the pastors home in search of the women looking under mattresses and in suitcases. Even turning the door knob of their locked bathroom.

Fortunately the rebels were distracted and decided against looking in the locked bathroom. Immaculee credits the Blessed Virgin Mary for her intercession at that moment.

Once rescued, Immaculee learned the fate of her entire family. Her mother, father, brother, sister, school pals, friends had been executed. Everyone she had ever known was now dead. By the cruelest of lifes lessons, she learned her family was killed by her neighbor.

Imagine everyone you had met in your life is now dead. This thought hit me in the stomach like a Mack truck. I tried to imagine what life would be like for Immaculee going forward. What would it be like to start your life all over? What it would be like to face the killer of your family?

Yet Immaculee reached out and found the power to forgive her neighbor.

The rosary, Immaculee says "is her lifeblood, it became my breakfast, lunch and dinner. I prayed the rosary until I fell asleep." She prayed the rosary over and over in that small bathroom because "one of them must be a good one." One of the decades would get her prayers answered.

Immaculee recommends "surrender to God, as life is too much for one person without God."

This amazing woman is a living example of forgiveness and devotion. Immaculee is a true inspiration with her acts of forgiveness and love. She exudes greatness. As I sat there pondering her experience and message, I found myself equating her to Gandhi and Mother Theresa. I fully expect her to be the next Saint in our lifetime.

She left us with these words.

"Give yourself the gift of peace, practice forgiveness."

Author's Bio: 

Colleen Lilly writes a blog at www.yourmindbodyandsoul123.com