Sometimes, in order to see ourselves better, we need to look at situations outside of ourselves. Few of us will have been unaffected by the recent massacre of school children in the Amish community in Pennsylvania. A gun man massacred several primary aged school girls, and then killed himself. Little was said in the media of the events that followed this tragedy. Media understanding about the Amish tends to be at best ignorant, and at worst, prurient.
During the week after the murders four significant, but largely unreported events happened. First, members of the Amish eldership visited Marie Roberts, the widow of the murderer, offering forgiveness. Later, the bereaved families of the little girls invited the widow to their children’s funerals. Subsequently, those same families requested that all money sent in for the welfare of the victims should be shared with Marie Roberts and her children. Finally, more than thirty members of the Amish community attended the funeral of the killer.
more reflections here from Bishop Peter Price