Birch Bark

I believe one thousand times more in the justice of restoration than the justice of punishment. So often when we say “justice,” we mean punishment or even revenge, but of course there is another kind of justice: the justice of restoring relationships. Perhaps I would drink tea with the letter-bomber and tell him, “Well sir, I have forgiven you, but I still have no hands, only one eye, and my eardrums are damaged. I’ll always need someone to assist me for the rest of my life. Of course you will help pay for that person, not as a condition of forgiveness, but as part of your effort to make reparation and restitution.”

The Greek word the New Testament uses for forgiveness also means “untying a knot.”