We've heard some amazing stories of people offering forgiveness to people who have hurt them terribly, but this one is a doozy. The mother of Gina DeJesus, who allegedly spent a decade being tortured in captivity along with two other women, has reportedly said that she forgives Gina's alleged tormentor, Ariel Castro. But not only does she forgive, she told 20/20 that she would hug him! Gina's mom, Nancy Ruiz, said:
I would hug him and I would say, 'God bless you.' I would say, 'God bless you,' and I'd hug him. I did not hate him. I forgave him years ago. I said it: I forgive whoever done it, just let her go.
Hmmmm. Wow. I don't know what to say. All the more unexpected since Castro knew Gina's family and would ask her mother, Nancy Ruiz, how she was doing and feign concern!
I'm always in awe of people who can forgive -- and it's something I've been working very hard on in the past year. I've realized that forgiveness doesn't mean that you have to like someone, or that you have to condone what that person did, or hang out with him, but that you are letting go of hatred in your heart so you can live a good, full life. After all, what good would Gina's mom do Gina, who needs her now, if she walked around bitching out Ariel Castro? Probably not much good.
On the other hand, I think it's a bit premature for Nancy Ruiz to be declaring her forgiveness for the simple reason that Gina may not have had time to forgive him, and until then it's nice to feel that your mom has your back and is willing to not forgive if you don't want to forgive -- yet. If that makes sense. All I know is that if I was tortured for a decade, I'd want my mother to be mad as hell for awhile -- and not be offering to hug my kidnapper. On the other hand, maybe that anger would just feed my own and then you've got two angry people who lives were first taken by Ariel Castro, and then by their own bitterness.
When you start to hate a person, that eats you up. I don't have time for that. I have to be, you know, I want to be happy, like I am now.
Well, she is right about that. Anger will eat you up. And she must be ecstatic to have her girl home and just wants to remain happy like she says. Why concentrate on the beast that is Ariel Castro when she can focus on the angel that is Gina?
Still ... I think there is a benefit to giving acknowledgement to your anger for awhile. Maybe Nancy will do that later.
Would you be able to hug your child's kidnapper?
Image via ABC 20/20