I was listening to a talk by Rob Bell and came across this great word: T’shuvah.


What I understand from this is that it is an ancient word that encapsulates a whole lot of what we believe as Restorativists and Restorative Justice Practitioners.




It’s the beginning and we are all created with the indelible mark of the creator or the divine. All bear this imprint. All of us.

At a fundamental level we are good. We are created good.

But all of us have capacity for harm. Great harm even. We stray. We veer from the path, from why we were created, our calling, our unique contribution to the world.

T’shuvah is the point of return. We realise. We stop and we turn. Or return.

It’s where we go back to the template.

It’s the point where we know so deeply who we are and that fundamentally we were created good. And are good.

It’s this deep knowing that allows us the courage to own the harm we have caused.

It’s here that we can apologize to the friend we hurt

Or admit that we have failed our family

That what we think may be flawed

That what we say may be profoundly destructive and harmful to others

Or that the stereotypes we perpetuate may contribute to constructing a world we don’t want to live in

Or acknowledge that indeed we have been part of a system that has created hell on earth for others

It’s that point that the bad stuff, the destruction that we may have partaken in, or just allowed doesn’t have the power to destroy us when we take responsibility for it.

It’s at that point that we have the power to do something about the harm.

Because T’shuvah is the profound notion that absolutely nothing can destroy who we fundamentally are. That at the most fundamental level we are created in the very image of all that is good: The Creator.

May grace and peace be with you all the days of your life.


Sheena Jonker

Upcoming Mediation Training: 23-27 May 2016 Durban and Midrand:  training@adr-networksa.co.za

Refer a dispute for mediation: sheena@mediatorsa.co.za

Access to Justice: sheena@accesstojustice.co.za