All people are shaped by their experiences and their memories of these experiences. But to some extent we have control over how we remember the things that we have experienced – and this can make it possible for people to heal. For Volf, this is done by telling ourselves the story of the injuries we have suffered in the context of grace.
The sin must be remembered in order for repentance, justice and transformation to take place. But we must also remember that God forgets a sin repented of and forgiven, knowing that the salvation of the Cross is offered to the perpetrators of injustice just as it is to the victims, and that in the new creation, the former sins will be washed away.
‘See, I will create new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.’
It is this bigger understanding of a bigger picture of reconciliation that really enables humans to reconcile with each other. If we have experienced love and forgiveness it is easier to offer it, and it is an offer that is demanded of those who have accepted reconciliation with God.
In this short clip, René August describes a pilgrimage to Robben Island, a place of memory for South Africa, and its potential to be a part of healing conflict.
You can read Hannah’s complete series of peacebuilding blogs as well as the latest peacebuilding resources on Tearfund Learn’s website.