Emily trudged down a hallway packed with women. Passing two mothers with young children, she wondered if her own children would have been better off if they’d been born on the inside. At least they’d have a roof over their heads. Glancing out a window, she saw that the heavy summer rains were about to roll in. It wouldn’t be long before the water was seeping into her building through the dozens of holes in the aging walls.
For about the thousandth time, Emily replayed the events that had culminated into her being there. Like so many in her native country of Democratic Republic of the Congo, Emily had been forced from her home by the constant tribal warfare. Though Uganda was a much safer place, her life had been far from easy. Jobs were scarce, and crime was everywhere. She’d been in the wrong place at the wrong time—that was all it was—and ended up being falsely accused of armed robbery.
Sent to prison to await a trial that may never come, Emily had heard story after story of other women having had their paperwork “lost” and deciding to plea-bargain into some admission of guilt just to get it over with. Still, she knew that one day—though she had no idea when—she would get out. And when she did, she would hunt down those who falsely accused her and make them pay for every last wrong she’d suffered. She dreamed of the day, obsessed over the day; but as many people can attest, you don’t hold a grudge as much as a grudge holds you. Desire for justice (or revenge) kept Emily in a captivity that was every bit as real as the walls, fences, and guards around the prison.
Reaching her cell, she found a roommate listening to the Bible on a Proclaimer. At first Emily’s anger only increased—she hated God and anything to do with Him for allowing her life to be like this. But then …and the words touched her. Over time, she let go of the hatred, saying, “Since vengeance is for the Lord, I leave that to Him. My prayer is that God will help me to totally forgive my accusers.”
Thank God that she was able to hear God’s Word in her language! Please pray along with Emily that God will soften her heart and help her forgive those who wronged her just as He has forgiven her.
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