Forgiveness and Twice a Slave

0 comments Posted on June 11, 2014

Sammy Tippitby Sammy Tippit

As I wrote Twice a Slave, I was forced to consume numerous documents on Joseph Willis’s life. One great truth jumped off the pages of those records and grabbed my heart – the power to forgive.

As I pondered the events in the life of Joseph Willis, I was stricken by the double injustice he experienced. Slavery is an injustice by itself, but an even greater injustice was thrust upon him after his father, Agerton, died. He wrote in his will that Joseph would be emancipated, and that he would inherit the majority of his property. Agerton Willis was one of the wealthiest in North Carolina.

Twice a SlaveJoseph had been given his freedom, and he fought for the freedom of the United States. Yet, he was kept in bondage, and his inheritance was stolen by a greedy uncle. The evidence paints a portrait of Joseph as a man who harbored no ill feelings. He not only rejected all bitterness, but he also gave his life to proclaiming the love of God to all who would listen. He became a pioneer among Protestants/Evangelicals/Baptists. He drew from a river of grace that flowed from the cross.

Oh, the power to forgive! Oh, the grace that heals the deepest wounds! Oh, the unmerited favor bestowed on your worst enemies! Songwriters call it “amazing grace, wonderful grace, marvelous grace.”

There’s a river that flows from the throne of God. As the Scripture says, “Ho, everyone who thirsts, come and drink!” There’s freedom when you drink from that river!


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