Recent events made me think about an inspiring and uplifting book called left to tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza
Immaculee’s story fills my heart with love and hope. Immaculee was brought up in Rwanda a beautiful young scholarship student supported by a warm loving Tutsus family. In 1994 Political events in Rwanda resulted in a mass horrific genocide where previously loving friends were able to seek out and kill other friends simply because they were the wrong tribe.
Hatred and fear was rife during this period, innocent Tutsis families including children were slaughtered and killed Immaculee’s family and friends were amongst these. In total one million people were brutally killed in just three months, many more were injured and displaced.
Immaculee along with seven other women were hidden by a pastor neighbour in a tiny 3 feet by 4 feet bathroom this neighbour belonged to the opposing Hutus tribe but he risked his own life to help shelter these women. During this time the house was repeatedly searched from top to bottom by three to four hundred Hutus armed with machetes but they were fortunately not discovered. They were huddled up in silence for ninety one days living off nothing but scraps and in constant fear of being found. Throughout this time Immaculee trusted her faith and feels it was due to the grace of god that she was kept safe.
In this dark period she found the light within her and an awareness that we are always protected and connected to a higher source. This insight gave her the power to eliminate hatred and open her heart to forgive the people who had so savagely killed her family. She wanted to stay aligned with love rather than go onto the side of hatred and therefore not become like the killers. With a deeper understanding that these people who can kill have lost their way she prayed that one day too they can see the light and love.
During the subsequent period of reconciliation Immaculee was given the opportunity to go to the prison to see the killer who killed her parents face to face. Her heart was so overflowing with love and compassion that she was able to look into his eyes and forgive him. Immaculee had a profound realisation that hatred can only destroy and that only love can rebuild.
We must never lose sight of the fact that anger and hate breaks the world apart compassion, forgiveness and love heals and unites the world.
Lets us never become the people we judge we have to always stay in the light and not step into the darkness.
This inspiring story shows the power of forgiveness is the key that sets us free rather than being stuck in the bondage of fear, anger and hate.
Sending love and blessings x