Filipino actress Cherry Pie Picache’s world was turned upside down in September of 2014, when her mother, Zenaida Picache, was found brutally murdered inside her home.
Zenaida’s in-home assistant, Michael Flores, confessed to killing the 75-year-old woman while he was on drugs in a robbery attempt gone horribly wrong.
As Picache tried to process the traumatic events, she grappled with the idea of whether or not she should forgive her mother’s killer.
In a documentary titled, “Radical Love,” Picache explained why and how she was ultimately able to forgive Flores for taking her mother’s life.
Cherry Pie Picache hugs mom’s killer, offers forgiveness amid tears https://t.co/woFt4THxRT
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Picache told ABS-CBN that her faith in God empowered her to forgive Flores, and it started with the understanding that God regularly and unconditionally forgives her.
“How can I possibly ask for forgiveness if I cannot forgive?” Flores said.
But the decision to forgive Flores on an intellectual level was not immediately followed by feelings of inward peace and liberty in her heart.
Forgiveness is a journey, Picache explained, a journey she walked with trusted friends and mentors who helped her process her feelings and emotions through a God-focused lens.
Picache’s family did not understand how or why she would want to forgive Flores. But despite their protests, Picache moved forward with her decision to forgive, believing that one day, the genuine, heartfelt feelings of forgiveness would come.
In March 2019, Picache visited Flores in prison for a chance to look him in the eye and speak to him about her mother’s death.
Even as she was approaching the prison, Picache still was not sure she would be truly able to forgive Flores. But she prayed, as she had prayed for months, that God’s presence would be with her as she met with Flores.
“God really took over, it’s really by his grace that I was able to do it,” Picache told Inquirer Entertainment.
“While I was walking, when I was about to see him, I was not fully decided at first if I can forgive him,” she told Inquirer Entertainment, speaking in Filipino and English. “I was willing to forgive him but I was praying to God, ‘I hope I can do it.'”
“I was really praying, ‘Please take over,'” Picache said.
As she met with Flores, tears fell down her face. She told Flores that she had forgiven him, and that he needed to forgive himself. According to KAMI, he apologized and asked for her forgiveness.
To those who cannot imagine seeking forgiveness under such painful circumstances, Picache quotes a saying about radical love: “Radical love is the only thing that can fight evil. Because that is how God works.”
Picache hopes her story will help others in similar situations learn to forgive as well.
“After watching the docu, I only hope and pray that we can be reminded of the radical love we were all blessed with from the start,” Picache said in a follow up interview with Inquirer Entertainment.
“If at least one more person can be reminded of love, compassion and kindness … to care for other human beings and to act on it … and to boost our respect for the gift of life, then it’s all worth it, by God’s grace.”
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