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March 04, 2009

Six-Part Q&A with Mary DeMuth on ’As We Forgive’

Each Monday for the next five Mondays, author Mary DeMuth will be interviewing me at her newest blog, My Family SecretsThis six-part series will particularly focus on what the stories of reconciliation from Rwanda can mean for those struggling here with difficult things in their past.

I just finished Mary's newest book, Daisy Chain--another example of why DeMuth is gaining such a following for her work. I'll have more to say on that later, but for now here's an excerpt from what's up this week on Mary's blog (I've added the speaker tags):

DeMuth: Earlier, I reviewed the phenomenal book As We Forgive by Catherine Claire Larson. You can read my review here.

I contacted Catherine directly and asked if she'd be willing to answer some questions regarding forgiveness and reconciliation. She kindly agreed. Stay tuned for the next five Mondays where Catherine shares from her heart.

What compelled you to write this book?

Larson: I strongly felt this was a story that needed to be told. When I heard about murderers and survivors living in relative peace in the same community just fifteen years after one of the worst atrocities of the past century, I wanted to understand better what was going on in the community that was enabling this to happen. Working with Prison Fellowship which is active in Rwanda, I’d heard stories about prisoners repenting and sincerely seeking to show their remorse and victims who were coming to grasp onto forgiveness. I wanted to find out more for myself. When my friend, Laura Waters Hinson, went to film her documentary of the same name in 2006, I heard again first-hand of these miraculous stories unfolding. Inspired by her film, and the work of Prison Fellowship Rwanda, I traveled in 2007 to follow up with the people interviewed in her documentary along with several others.

DeMuth: Some readers and all posters at My Family Secrets wrestle with pain from the past and struggle to be set free. How has writing As We Forgive helped you on your own forgiveness and freedom journey?

Larson: You know, wherever evil has occurred there is a shattering of peace—or shalom. I think writing this book showed me that even though you can come to the place of being able to extend the gift of forgiveness, sometimes there’s still a lot of brokenness that needs healing. In my life, before I’d gone to Rwanda, I had been able to forgive one of the deepest wounds against me, but it didn’t mean that there wasn’t still a lot of brokenness inside of me. Writing this book, taught me something about the place for lament when peace has been shattered, about the righteous anger we feel when something beautiful is lost, and about the One who not only carried our sins, but also every one of our sorrows to the cross (Isaiah 53:4). Being able to let him carry the weight of not just my sin, but my sorrow was a pivotal point in my healing process.

Read more here.

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