The sixteen year old careened like a train out of control on the track to desolation. Loud music pulsating in the background, their argument escalated in crimson rage until the twenty year old lay dead, his flesh pierced a by an angry bullet.
End of the party.
End of one precious life.
End of freedom for the hater.
Her life marred forever in the brutal blast. Her only son lost, Mary Johnson faced a chasm of a bitter and vengeful future.
The not-yet-a-man was tried and sentenced as an adult. Twenty-five years condemned by an outraged jury while she watched with grim anticipation.
But the peace and closure she expected was elusive.
Several dark years later, Mary, a devout christian, yet struggling to heal the still oozing and jagged fissure, decided the only way she could continue on meant meeting Oshea. She had to gaze on him face to face and see if the impossible could happen. Was there any possible way her shredded heart could forgive him?
The anger and bitterness was slowly destroying her.
But how do you forgive the killer of your beloved?
One visit turned into three, then five, then ten…
Bewildered by her visits and her willingness to forgive, Oshea could scarcely hope–and tentatively began to open up to Mary. Slowly their relationship developed and real forgiveness blossomed.
Released after seventeen excruciating years, Mary invited Oshea to move into the empty apartment next door. Her reasoning? “Unforgiveness is like a cancer, it will eat you from the inside out. It’s not about that other person, me forgiving him does not diminish what he’s done. Yes, he murdered my son–but the forgiveness is for me. It’s for me.”
Over and over Jesus repeated: “Love your neighbor, love your enemies, don’t seek revenge, don’t repay evil with evil.” Our human nature struggles with these unnatural concepts. Retaliation and justice flow like lava in a race of destruction and demolition.
The crazy beautiful thing remains that forgiveness often defies all sense. A miraculous gift when extended, it changes us, the giver
Life defies equity, but we struggle and strive, pushing and pulling and doing everything in our power to sculpt it fair. As usual we try to control the uncontrollable. Crucial to my existence- learn to do better toward my fellow man,
Because when I stand before my Lord, I want his forgiving grace, not justice.
Matthew 5:46 “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
-Who do you need to extend forgiveness to? Past or present.
-Write this on a notecard and put in your bible or tape to your mirror. It may be a long process, but remember– Forgiveness is not for them, it is for you.