Monday, October 26, 2015

Forgiven by Terri Roberts

Forgiven by Terri Roberts is the story of the Amish School shooting or "The Happening" as the Amish call the event.  This is the story as told through the eyes of Terri Roberts, whom you may have never heard, but she was the mother of Charlie Roberts, the shooter.    Terri and her husband, Chuck, had spent their married life and raised their children in this ideal country setting.  Their farm was carved out of a piece of their Amish neighbor's farm.  Their Amish neighbors did not drive so they often drove them to places that the horse couldn't take them or they could not walk.  Charlie drove one of the milk trucks that picked up the milk at the various Amish dairies and took it into town.  The Amish knew them and they knew the Amish.  When Charlie entered the school the children knew who he was and let him in.  When Charlie killed those girls he knew them, these were the children he saw daily as he drove into their farms.  When the Amish men entered into Chuck and Terri's home to tell them that they forgave Charlie and that they wanted to help Charlie's children they meant it.  When Charlie was buried the day after the Amish children were buried, the  Amish provided a human shield so that the family would not be photographed and the funeral service could not be reported on by the newspaper and television crews.  The Amish showed not only forgiveness to the shooter's family but did the unthinkable--they loved them.  Terri started working with the Amish to help the healing both physical and psychological of all the involved family members.  In the years since that October 2, 2006 day Terri and many of the Amish families have worked together to help others who have been touched by various tragedies and this book tells of many of them as well as how they got to be close enough to help each other through it all.
On the back of the book Donald Kraybill notes that, "You won't be able to put this book down once you start reading!".  I found that not to be so--I had to put the book down many times because I could not see the words through my tears.  This is a very difficult book to read from an emotional standpoint.  Terri Roberts writes a very honest review of her family and the courage it took for the Amish to forgive and what it took for her to forgive her son and accept what had happened though she would never understand.  Anyone could read this but it will be difficult I imagine for anyone to do it.
I received this book from BethanyHouse for this review.

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