Love and Forgiveness in Action: Lisa Gibson and Lockerbie

My attention has been brought to this today. Every now and again, we are able to see someone rise above something so atrocious and find it within their hearts to forgive and carry on, perhaps even making sure that some good may come out of something that occurred which was profoundly not good. Regardless of the politics and the ongoing differences of opinion as to who did it and why…this woman has risen above her grief, and is I feel a reminder and example to us all.


Lisa Gibson from Colorado was 18 when her brother, Ken, was blown up in an attack on Pan AM flight 103 over the southern Scottish town of Lockerbie.

She had come home from college for Christmas and was looking forward to seeing her brother, a US soldier, when the news broke.

The bombing killed 270 people in the air and on the ground.

On Friday, victims’ relatives will mark the 24th anniversary of the attack in a memorial service at the Arlington national cemetery – but Ms Gibson will not be among them.

She has chosen to spend her Christmas holidays in Libya, the country said to have been behind the bombing.

“At the heart of terrorism is hate and fear, and the only way to effectively fight it is to walk in the opposite spirit with love and forgiveness,” she told the BBC.

“I refuse to be crippled with bitterness and respond in kind. I wanted to take the moral high ground,” she said.

Lisa Gibson with a child in Libya 

“I think that holding onto vengeance just causes the cycle of hate to continue,” she said. “Ultimately, the decision to forgive and move towards reconciliation is, I think, much more impactful.”

Lisa, who is a committed Christian, has set up a not-for-profit organisation to promote peace and reconciliation. Instead of taking a Christmas holiday this year, she is giving her time to help Libyans as they rebuild from the revolution that toppled Gaddafi. She is teaching conflict resolution to local leaders in the city of Benghazi, where the US ambassador and three of his colleagues were murdered in September.

It was in this spirit that Lisa met and personally forgave the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, in 2009, for what both America and Britain believe was a state-sponsored act of terrorism.

For the rest of this article covered by the BBC, please follow the link.