A Flag of Forgiveness

Sep 6, 2010

“I was thinking how a man could spend 30 years in prison, and come out and forgive the men who did it to him.” ~ Francois Pienaar, of Nelson Mandela

That line is from Invictus. I watched it last night, and out of all the powerful scenes and lines, this is the one I cannot forget. I loved this movie for two reasons: One, it made me want to go back to South Africa. My husband and I brought a piece of that country home with us, and we’ll never forget it. Two, the theme of forgiveness overwhelmed us both in a beautiful, breath-taking epiphany.

Like Pienaar, I wonder what makes a man determined to forgive those who stole his life. After watching the movie and thinking about it for 24 hours, I can only come up with two things, but two things that can change both history and the future at the same time:

  1. A deep, encompassing love for others, regardless of differences
  2. An humble and accurate awareness of one’s own need for forgiveness

That’s what makes a man like Mandela determined to live in grace. Like a flag waves as the symbol of a country, forgiveness has marked Mandela’s life.

Is it marking yours?

(pic courtesy of Leigh-Anne, stock.xchng)


  1. Jerolyn

    Wow, Michele. Great post. Sounds a lot like how Jesus would want us to respond. I keep wondering how he would handle illegal immigration and the whole mosque at ground zero thing.

    • Michele Cushatt

      I often struggle with knowing how to connect my faith with different political situations. All I know is that the themes of love and forgiveness are HUGE in the Bible … so they both should be huge in my life.

  2. alece

    so, so powerful. (and didn't matt damon NAIL the afrikaaner accent?!)

    • Michele Cushatt

      Forgiveness IS powerful.

      (now, if only I could remember that when I'm reluctant to forgive …)

      P.S. Yes, he did! 🙂


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