Forgiveness, the kind that heals, is the theme of Darrell Puls' book, The Road Home: A Guided Journey to Church Forgiveness and Reconciliation.
The Kennewick man has been a conflict management professional since 1976, as a mediator, organizational development expert, negotiator, trainer, writer and speaker.
He's the author of more than 20 published articles but The Road Home is his first book.
It was published March 22 by Cascade Books and recently offered as a Kindle digital book from Amazon.
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True forgiveness seems to be elusive, even for those who follow Christ's teachings, Puls said.
As Puls wrote in the forward to the book: "It is regrettable truth that forgiving comes hard to most of us at times, myself included, and almost all of us on occasion. Unable to forgive, we find ourselves facing two difficult choices: Let our anger and pain roar out and damage all of our relationships, or hold them in and let their corrosive acids consume us from the inside like some voracious cancer."
As an example, Puls drew on a 2006 Tri-City Herald story: "Jury finds Foos guilty of vehicular homicide."
Foos, a former Kennewick pastor, hit and killed a teen bicyclist, Sara Casey. When the verdict was announced, her mother told a Herald reporter, "I thought we would be happy, but we're not. It's a sad time."
Puls said that's a common reaction. "People expect more from justice than it can deliver. Justice does not bring back the person killed, what's been stolen or your sense of security," he said.
That's why forgiveness is something you give to yourself -- to let go the anger, rage and animosity within, he said.
Puls said forgiveness has been shown to be an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Those diagnosed with PTSD need to forgive whomever they need to, including themselves, before they can heal, he said.
Puls said he wrote the book for churches and other large groups in conflict but his words can resonate with individuals too.
"I get emails from people saying, 'I'm reading it and can't put it down,' " he said.
The Road Home is available on Amazon.com. Cost is $25 for paperback, or download it for $10. It's also available from the publisher, Cascade Books, an imprint of Wipf & Stock, at https://wipfandstock.com.
For more information on conflict management offered by Puls, go to http://conflicttopeace.com.