She tried sincerely to elevate the issue to a place of healing. Contrary to what many think, forgiveness isn't about right and wrong -- it's about reconciliation. When you forgive someone, you eliminate forever a wall that stands between you.
That was what Ginni Thomas tried to do, and she has been ridiculed for it.
Note what she told ABC News about the incident:
"I did place a call to Ms. Hill at her office extending an olive branch to her after all these years, in hopes that we could ultimately get past what happened so long ago. That offer still stands, I would be very happy to meet and talk with her if she would be willing to do the same. Certainly no offense was ever intended."
Imagine what might have happened if that olive branch had been accepted. What kind of example would it set for the rest of us if Anita Hill and Mrs. Clarence Thomas could reconcile in charity and mutual respect?
Look at where we are today: The political tone on both sides of the aisle these days has gotten so vicious, that we're no longer even talking to one another. We shout; we don't listen; we don't reach out. We do the opposite of what Ginni Thomas did. God gives us the teaching moments we need, when we need them. And we needed this one.
Whatever you think of the Thomas/Hill dispute, Ginni Thomas followed the mandates of her faith, regardless of the risk of rejection. She didn't hide her phone call -- she left a message on Hill's voicemail, knowing full well it could be played for others. She made herself vulnerable, so that she could help heal an old wound.
Would you have the courage to do that? Would I? Instead of scorning her, we should be looking to her example.
Of course, those who feel called to forgive some past wrong find another lesson in Ginni Thomas's recent treatment: When you reach out to your offender, there's a price to pay. Every good action has its own cost. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. There are times in life when you have to act regardless of the consequences. Others may not like it, and we might have our names dragged through the media mud because of it, but at the end of the day, we need to live with ourselves. When you forgive, you find peace, and there's nothing greater than that.
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