“Gravel in your shoe will hinder you as much as boulders in your path. Besides the man who shot my father, I have to forgive the guy who shoves in front of me to take the last seat on the bus. Forgiving is a way of life.”
That’s how I first heard Dr. Antoine Rutayisire, a member of our Rwanda’s Unity and Reconciliation Commission, on the radio, in 2003. When he became a friend, a few years later, I was touched by his humility. He has equal respect for all people, no matter their rank or background.
As an evangelist in the late 1990s, Antoine visited prisons across Rwanda, where more than 120,000 men were serving time for their role in the genocide.
While speaking in a Kigali prison, Antoine noticed one inmate who seemed particularly agitated. When Antoine finished his talk, the man leapt to his feet.
“Are you saying Jesus’ blood can wash away all sins?” he probed. He was trembling.
“Yes,” Antoine replied.
“Then let me tell you what I did.”