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The healing power of forgiveness

From Bill Pelke

Bill's grandmother was murder in 1985. He originally supported the sentence of death, but went through a spiritual transformation in 1986 after praying for love and compassion for Paula Cooper and her family.

7 months ago

When my heart was touched with love and compassion, I no longer pictured the violent murder of my grandmother. I pictured how she lived and what a beautiful person she was.

Some discussion starter questions
  • What is the most interesting power of forgiveness for you?
  • ...

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Video transcript

Forgiveness has many powers, I mean, The one that really touched me the most the night that I was touched with it was the healing power of forgiveness. Because for a year and a half whenever I thought about Nana, I envisioned her butchered on the dining room floor the dining room where our family went every year for Christmas, thanksgiving, Easter. And to try to think about her, it just was very very painful. autopsy and it was brought out in court that not only was she stabbed 33 times with a twelve inch butcher knife but they had a section of the carpet that was underneath her body in the courtroom that day and showed how that carpet had been shredded by the knife. But when my heart was touched with that love and compassion, I knew I'd no longer picture Nana butchered on the dining room, but I'd picture her how she lived, what she stood for, what she believed in, just a beautiful wonderful person she was. And it was just something very special for me.

Director's note

Bill Pelke explains how compassion, love and forgiveness were able to change his memories of the violent murder of his grand-mother.

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