Most have seen a least one news report of a grieving mother whose child’s life was recklessly or purposefully taken and her response is, “I forgive them.” Is that possible? What would be the one thing? The one act you could not forgive? I was challenged recently reading the book Outrageous Grace properly titled for Grace Fabian. I learned of a wife, mother, Bible translator and servant of Jesus Christ that lived a life of obedience and forgiveness, even when God’s plan was different from her own.
Taught the bible from a very young age, Grace built the foundation for the love and desire for God’s Word in her life. She met and married, Edmund Fabian in 1967 at a linguistic school and they headed to Papua New Guinea as missionaries to translate the Bible for the Nabak people. In the process of their work, Edmund was murdered while translating 1 Corinthians 13, the very chapter of the Bible that describes love, by a local Nabak. After his brutal murder, Grace and their children continued the translation of the New Testament and in 1998 completed it and in six-weeks hiked to all fifty-three Nabak villages to distribute the Bible in the native Nabak language. Their example of forgiveness was perhaps the greatest “bible” the Nabak people would ever read.
In reading Outrageous Grace, I was reminded of the loss of my own husband. Although his death not near as brutal, my husband was killed by a drunk driver, a “murder” of sorts and received no penalty for the accident. Like Milinjnaje, the man who killed Grace’s husband, he was set free as well. I, like Grace, being widowed at such a young age was not my plan. I was reminded that we all as believers have been given the power and grace of God to forgive as we have been forgiven. Because we have been forgiven of much we too can forgive others (Luke 7:47). Grace Fabian’s story teaches me to trust God and continue to be obedient, in turn He will give me the strength and grace to forgive and complete the work He has started all for His perfect purpose.