This past week I had an interesting experience. A friend at church told me about this video and after church that day I watched it. I needed a few tissues to make my way through it, but my heart was very affected by the story. I had heard the story in the news and heard reference to this gentleman many times, but to hear him say those words and see him physically offer forgiveness was a great lesson to me.
If you haven't seen it, it is very worth your time:
I was so touched. I hope to really learn the lesson that is taught through this tragic experience.
Later that week, I was visiting with a friend of mine. She is a newer friend, so I am still learning many things about her. We were talking about some things that we had experienced and she shared with me how her own son had been the driver in an accident that had killed someone. In this case, the victims family has been filled with anger and hatred. If they had it their way, all of her family would have to pay the price for this horrible event, not just her son. Letters were sent to keep the son in jail longer and longer and longer, wishes were made that his mother would suffer death, too. My heart broke as she shared this experience. The pain was so strong, you can see that she hasn't had a moments peace since that day.
I am not trying to judge the actions of the victim's family in this case, but I am trying to share what I learned. I can see what great forces love and hate can be. Love can work miracles, bring healing and change lives. Hate can bring misery and prevent healing, it can keep the wounds just as fresh as they were when they happened.
I have no idea what I would do if placed in this situation. But I am currently making the decision to choose forgiveness. I have a situation in my own life that is very painful due to the actions of others that I cannot control. Anger and frustration are my usual emotions in response to their actions. It is time for me to let go of the anger and let them do what they are going to do. I cannot change a thing except what happens in my own heart.
So, I am working on changing, I am working on this old heart of mine still.
That's my goal.