On one particular night a woman made a choice out of her desire instead of her responsibility. She was a mother of a nine-year-old girl and one night she decided to go out and be with her friends and not hire a babysitter. This would change the lives of everyone involved. On this particular night an intruder would break into the house and sexually abuse this child left home alone. In the night air of flashing red and blue lights and police cars, began a family tragedy that would include a walk of shame and guilt for one, rage and anger for another, and lack of understanding that would only put more fuel on the fire.

As a parent how can you face your own parents with news such as this? What did your parents say when you told them you left your child home alone? Did they treat you as if you were a terrible parent? Did they ask what the hell you were thinking? How did your relationship change with your parents when you had to tell them, “I left my child home alone and she was molested by a stranger?” Did shame and guilt begin to rule your mind?  Did you experience the nightmares of seeing what happened to your little girl? How many times did you wake up in terror only to realize that terror already happened and this is what we are all living with? Did the darkness of your shame and guilt destroy your future? What happened to you after this situation? Did evil entrap you and keep you bound in the shame, guilt and unforgiveness of this day’s experience? The darkness fell upon them in a moment, did you allow that darkness to stay and torment you for years?

What did the father think when he heard the news? Did he have remorse for leaving the wife? Did he think it was his fault for not staying and trying to work out the issues of the failed marriage. Did he simply think the mother was incapable of caring for her daughter? The father would take the child to live with him but what he could not imagine is how the little girl’s mind would think about this situation. She was angry that her father took her from her mother when she was finally showing love. The process of guilt love is not something a child can comprehend and because she felt she was not heard anger, rage and fire burned hot. What could have happened if forgiveness, compassion and discussion took place instead of judgement and blame? How could this little girl’s life have been changed with a few conversations with the mother and father? Instead of anger and rage developing what if she was shown how forgiveness works? What could that have looked like?

As the little girl grew up, she became enraged with anger and hostile feelings. It seemed as the years passed, she built up more aggression and anger towards the world.  She experienced nightmares but they were not about her experience. She would see her own son being tortured as she was tied up and forced to watch. She experienced torture from her past in a very different way in her parental present. The little girl who was once a 9-year-old victim, learned how darkness can show up years later. The feelings of helplessness, weakness, and not being able to help her own child are what continued to haunt her. The power of darkness is only able to keep us bound if we let it. I did not know and was never taught the power of forgiveness. Forgiveness is always more powerful than judgement.

What would it have looked like if the parents of the mother had several discussions and spoke of forgiveness with their daughter? How would this mother have reacted after the tragedy to her nine-year-old daughter?  Instead of shame and guilt, which showed up in the form of abandonment and distance, what if love and forgiveness were allowed to move? We will never get to discuss this tragedy with the mother as she has passed away. The conversation about how this situation affected her life and relationships will never get to take place. As the nine-year-old daughter, I can only imagine what the mother must have gone through. I choose to have compassion for her because, it is my belief, her skeletons were never healed.

How can lives change if we are all quick to forgive and slow to judge? Sounds crazy right? Well, in a world where judgement takes less than a second and forgiveness can take a lifetime maybe its time to think a little different. How many people do you know that need more forgiveness and less judgement?

I hope this triggers something deep inside you, in order to work on love and forgiveness as this is where your power lies. May you be blessed.