Last Sunday a Jewish woman by the name of Sally Klein O’Connor came to my Church and shared her story. It was so moving to me that I’m still thinking about it 4 days later. When she was 8 years old she moved from the Westside of LA to the Valley. One day as she was walking down the street she went to pet a German Shepherd and the dog bit her face. She spent a month in the hospital and had reconstructive surgery but it left a scar all the way down her cheek from her eye to her chin. Before she even had time to make friends at her new school all the kids proceeded to call her “Scarface”. She became known by that name for the next 3 years. Sally began hide behind her scar and learned to be untrusting of people and quick to judge because of her intense pain. At 27, she became a Jewish Christian and began to be healed of her emotional scars. Fast forward a few decades and a friend of hers who had gone to Germany to visit the sites of the concentration camps was telling Sally of how offended the German Christians were that she wanted to visit the sites. “When is it going to be over?” they said. Sally was indignant at the response of the German people. “It’s never over! It’ll never be over! Are they kidding!!” was what Sally felt but a still small voice inside her kept asking a question “How do you think the German people feel about what happened there?” “Who cares how they feel??” was her initial thought but she kept thinking about that question and over time she came to realize the answer. Continually being identified with the Holocaust had left the people of these towns with scars. She knew a little bit about scars. Even more, she knew of the power of love that heals them. She felt compelled to go to Germany and visit these towns to tell her story. She did just that in 2009 & 2010, calling it the “Tour of Roses”. In each town she handed out red roses to the German people with cards attached that read:
“Red for the blood of the people
Red for the Savior’s blood which
was shed for the blood of
my people and your people.
Red for His love which makes love between us possible.”
As a result, hundreds of people were impacted by her courage and her love.
Forgiveness is Grace in it’s purest form.