Chapter 25 Adilah: Process of Forgiveness

Adilah and Anne had become the primary woodworkers of their community. Each evening they spent time making chairs, tables and shelving.

“There was a time I would’ve thought that only men do this kind of thing,” laughed Adilah. “We weren’t allowed to touch any tools, other than the things we needed to cook, but I guess the militia thought we might attack them.”

Anne smiled but kept her eyes on the table leg she was nailing into place.  “I had to learn some of these skills when I was a little girl, but I never really used them much when I was a wife.”

“But here we are!” said Adilah. “We can make so many things!”

Anne hammered home the last nail and turned the table over.

“There, that looks good to me!” she said happily, looking at the table studiously.

Anne glanced up at Adilah and recognised immediately the look on her face.

“You ok?”

“It’s just… whenever I think about those men, the militia, I feel so many things. I feel angry, and I feel worried. I know in my head that they aren’t here and that I am safe, but I do feel that they don’t deserve to come here ever… at all.”

“That’s all understandable and the important thing is that you are honest. I was killed by a mob of men in the Previous Age. When I was raised and sent to the community in the apartment block during the millennium, I had to learn to trust again. It was difficult, but I knew it was essential.”

“Did you forgive those who killed you?” asked Adilah.

“You know, that’s a good question. I think there are levels of forgiveness. There is deciding not to hate them, then there is deciding that you will let go of your desire for revenge, then there is actively being able to connect with those who hurt you – reconciliation, I guess. All these things take a lot of time, patience and allowing Agape Love to change our hearts. Forgiveness is one of the hardest, but one of the most divinely inspired things we can learn.”

“I am not there yet,” said Adilah quietly. “I still feel angry and when I think of their faces, I feel I want to hurt them. I want them to feel the fear we felt.”

“Ok, well, at least you are able to identify where you are on the journey, and that’s really positive. And you know, you don’t ever have to like them!”

“Really? But… I thought I had to love them?”

“Forgiveness is part of Agape Love. It flows from it, but that is not the same as having a personal friendship with another person. No one is asking anyone to be friends with everyone in the world. We will always have a circle of people we are close to and feel comfortable with. But with around a hundred billion people coming to live on the New Earth, it’ll be impossible to be friends with everyone. Although it will be possible to have an attitude of Agape Love toward everyone.”

“I feel better about this,” Adilah grinned.

“Yeah, it’s good to know that no one is expecting us to ‘cuddle up’ to those who abused and hurt us. There’s every chance you will never even see them. But, if you do, you’ll know what to do. Ruach, the one you call ‘Friend’, will guide you. When we can all mingle together in Zion, we will be there because we are ready. We will be able to hear the guidance of the Spirit. The spirit will help us relate to each person from the position of Agape Love.”

“Well, I want to be ready, but I don’t want to pretend.”

“That’s good,” encouraged Anne. “We cannot trick Jesus and Rauch! They know when we are ready to be invited. It may take a long time, it may not. It will take the correct amount of time for each person.”

“But if I want to get there sooner, can I?”

“There is much to be gained from a heart that wants to progress and change and desires to be in Zion. It’s just that Ruach can see when a heart is genuinely wanting to live by Agape Love, or when it is seeking rewards for itself.”

“I know I cannot trick Ruach, I know that she searches my heart for truth. When I knew her as ‘Friend’, she would show me areas where I needed to grow, even when I was a captive slave to the militia!”

“Rauch is always working from and toward Agape Love, that is the very essence of God! Papa is Love. Papa, Jesus and Rauch cannot be or do anything else!”

“But love doesn’t demand its own way either,” observed Adilah.

“Indeed, that’s why it’s always an invitation. Nothing forced, nothing coerced. Living by Agape Love is always an open door we must choose to go through, but the more we do it, the more natural it becomes for us. Like anything, it takes time to learn and practice. You may find regular meditation helps, thirty minutes each day just being quiet and still.”

Adilah looked over to where Eshe was building the fire with some others.

“I learned to love through this woman,” said Adilah, nodding in Eshe’s direction. “She taught me to love, even in the most horrible place.”

“Sometimes that’s where love shines brightest, isn’t it?” said Anne. “Love can exist in the most awful suffering and bring meaning and hope. There have been countless attempts to stamp love out, but it has never worked. Love is strong, even though it can appear so weak.”

Adilah nodded, still looking at Eshe. “We were weak. We were powerless, and we were captive. But we could still love each other.”

Eshe noticed Adilah looking at her and laughed freely. She crossed her eyes and poked out her tongue and laughed again.


The community was settled into a regular routine. The women tended to instinctively gravitate toward jobs they knew well and were confident in doing. As the months and years went by, many of the women began to show interest in other jobs. Partly for the sake of mixing up their daily lives, but also out of a genuine desire to get to know one another over the common ground of a task.

The tree-top houses became homes, and many of the friendliest animals came to share the dwellings with the women. Bushbabies, koala bears, pandas, sloths and all kinds of birds became part of everyday life, bringing much delight to the community.

“The bushbabies are overeating,” remarked Eshe to Adilah one morning.

“How do you know?” asked Adilah.

“They poo too much, I think we must advise everyone to not serve them the same food as us,” continued Eshe, her hands on her hips.

Adilah nodded and wondered what it might be that could upset a bush-baby’s digestive system.

Later that night she filled Anne in on the situation.

“It would seem we have to ensure we don’t hurt our animal neighbours,” said Adilah, a little surprised.

Anne nodded. “Yes, we are still to be good stewards of creation. It may be that there is no disease or death here, but there is still a duty of care toward the living beings around us.”

“That was always the job of humans, wasn’t it?” asked Adilah.

“It was meant to be, yes” replied Anne. “But in the Previous Age we forgot that to look after ourselves, we should look after the Earth. We know now that we must work with the guidance of Ruach to care for the creatures that need our diligence.”

“Animals care for us in their own way, too,” Adilah remarked.

“Yes, they do. They bring their special wonder to creation. They may bring us comfort, laughter, and help us in our work.”

“It’s best when we can work together to look after our world,” agreed Adilah.

“That is certainly the most beautiful way for us to be with our animal friends,” said Anne.

Eshe approached them, drying her hands with a cloth. “They have had too much sugar from our food.”

From that time onwards, the community were careful not to give the bushbabies treats meant for human stomachs. Instead, a group of the women took more time to develop new, interesting treats especially for the bushbabies, made from food that was within their natural diet, and took great delight in feeding it to them each week.