Not long ago, something happened in Texas that made waves around the nation. It occurred during the trial of a former police officer who claimed to have entered the wrong apartment after returning home from work. According to her testimony, she opened the door, saw the apartment’s rightful resident, believed he was an intruder, and shot and killed him. After hearing her case, the jury found her guilty of murder.
Then something amazing happened in that courtroom.
The victim’s 18-year-old brother took the stand to give an impact statement. On earth, this young man will never see his older brother again, never hear his voice or receive his advice or laugh with him. Their family will never again celebrate Christmas together. Yet, face-to-face with the woman who took his brother’s life, this young man said these remarkable words:
I don’t want to say twice or for the one-hundredth time . . . how much you’ve taken from us. I think you know that . . . If you truly are sorry . . . I forgive you. And I know if you go to God and ask Him, He will forgive you . . . I love you just like anyone else. And I’m not gonna say I hope you rot and die, just like my brother did . . . I don’t even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you . . . And the best would be, give your life to Christ.
When he finished, he asked the judge if he could hug his brother’s murderer. The judge said, “Yes.” The former officer ran into the young man’s embrace with tears streaming down her face.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Who do you need to forgive?
Maybe the best gift we can give this Christmas is the grace-filled gift of forgiveness.
Seeking to forgive together,