Based off of true events and the book, Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy, the DVD Amish Grace gives an account to the terrible, tragic event when a man not a part of the Amish community, goes to an Amish school house, shoots 10 and kills 5 Amish school girls.
As I watched Amish Grace (release date is September 14, 2010), I found myself crying quite uncontrollably, but for more reasons than the fact that these innocent children lost their lives so heartlessly. It was the response of the Amish community that really grabbed hold of my heart and touched me and changed my perspective on what it means to forgive.
Some of the events and the characters of Amish Grace were fictional, but it was obvious that the characters in the DVD were not far off from the people they were representing. You learn that the Amish community wants nothing in the way of their relationship with God and their ability to be like Christ. This is why very soon after the man came and killed their children and himself, the people of the Amish community reached out to the man’s wife and offers her not only forgiveness, but offers her their support and their help in any way that she and her children needed. They recognized that yes, they had just gone through a hard, terrible loss, but she had too!
Although the attitude of the Amish community was forgiveness, not every one of them could achieve it. Actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley portrays a mother who lost her eldest daughter to the school house killings and unlike her husband, she could not extend the same grace and forgiveness. She was consumed by the hurt, which transformed into anger that she could not let go of. Her character, Ida Graber, may have been fictional, but was a character that we could all relate to.
As mentioned in the DVD, Christ justifiably deals with punishment, and it spoils our hearts to hold anger against others who may have wronged us. As you watch Amish Grace, prepare your heart to witness a undeserved tragedy, but also prepare your heart to see what it means to forgive and let go of the hurt and anger, no matter the offense.