In Return to Huckleberry Hill, Reuben Helmuth’s best friend, John, steals Reuben’s girlfriend right out from under his nose. Reuben is deeply hurt and flees to Huckleberry Hill to nurse his wounds. Reuben clings tightly to his resentment and vows to never forgive John for what John did to him. But John’s sister Fern is determined to make things right, and she comes to Wisconsin to convince Reuben to forgive her brother.
One thing I love about the Amish is that they truly try to live their faith. When an Englisch milkman in Nickel Mines, PA went into an Amish schoolhouse and murdered five Amish girls before killing himself, the Amish community publicly forgave him and rallied around his family. They visited the milkman’s wife. They attended his funeral. They used their grief as a springboard to forgiveness and love instead of hatred and revenge.
I have a dear friend whose son was killed by a drunk driver over a decade ago. My friend freely forgave the driver almost immediately after her son was killed. She knew that holding onto hate for the man who had killed her son would only canker her soul. I have been continually astonished over the years at the love and true Christian character of my friend. I hope that I would be able to do the same.
I think we learn forgiveness by practicing it in the small things. What about that person who cuts us off on the freeway? What about that rude clerk at the grocery store or the relative we can’t get along with?
There is someone in my life whom I am struggling to forgive. I am trying to offer them the grace that I hope other people would offer me. It’s a lesson we all can learn—even Reuben in Return to Huckleberry Hill.
“We are forever bound to those we do not forgive.”