Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"Somehow forgiveness, with love and tolerance, accomplishes miracles that can happen in no other way."

Have you watched any of the Mormon Messages on youtube? I actually find them quite inspiring and very well done. I saw this one today and felt like sharing it:



I cannot fathom the strength Chris Williams had to have to forgive so quickly and completely in a tragic situation like this. I am also struck by his humility, giving himself no credit for the remarkable feat he was able to accomplish. It was simply the Savior working through him. How wonderful.

"I'm grateful that God allow tragedies and trails to occur in our lives - not because they're easy or because they're desired, but because they help us love."

This story reminded me of a talk President Hinckley gave years ago, simply entitled "Forgiveness". The story he relates, much like Chris Williams' story in the above video, is one of complete forgiveness:

"How would you feel toward a teenager who decided to toss a 20-pound frozen turkey from a speeding car headlong into the windshield of the car you were driving? How would you feel after enduring six hours of surgery using metal plates and other hardware to piece your face together, and after learning you still face years of therapy before returning to normal—and that you ought to feel lucky you didn’t die or suffer permanent brain damage?

"And how would you feel after learning that your assailant and his buddies had the turkey in the first place because they had stolen a credit card and gone on a senseless shopping spree, just for kicks? …

“This is the kind of hideous crime that propels politicians to office on promises of getting tough on crime. It’s the kind of thing that prompts legislators to climb all over each other in a struggle to be the first to introduce a bill that would add enhanced penalties for the use of frozen fowl in the commission of a crime.

"The New York Times quoted the district attorney as saying this is the sort of crime for which victims feel no punishment is harsh enough. ‘Death doesn’t even satisfy them,’ he said.

"Which is what makes what really happened so unusual. The victim, Victoria Ruvolo, a 44-year-old former manager of a collections agency, was more interested in salvaging the life of her 19-year-old assailant, Ryan Cushing, than in exacting any sort of revenge. She pestered prosecutors for information about him, his life, how he was raised, etc. Then she insisted on offering him a plea deal. Cushing could serve six months in the county jail and be on probation for 5 years if he pleaded guilty to second-degree assault.

"Had he been convicted of first-degree assault—the charge most fitting for the crime—he could have served 25 years in prison, finally thrown back into society as a middle-aged man with no skills or prospects.

"But this is only half the story. The rest of it, what happened the day this all played out in court, is the truly remarkable part.

"According to an account in the New York Post, Cushing carefully and tentatively made his way to where Ruvolo sat in the courtroom and tearfully whispered an apology. ‘I’m so sorry for what I did to you.’

"Ruvolo then stood, and the victim and her assailant embraced, weeping. She stroked his head and patted his back as he sobbed, and witnesses, including a Times reporter, heard her say, ‘It’s OK. I just want you to make your life the best it can be.’ According to accounts, hardened prosecutors, and even reporters, were choking back tears."

My thoughts this morning are much better expressed by President Hinckley: "May God help us to be a little kinder, showing forth greater forbearance, to be more forgiving, more willing to walk the second mile, to reach down and lift up those who may have sinned but have brought forth the fruits of repentance, to lay aside old grudges and nurture them no more."

And President Monson: "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved."

3 comments:

  1. I so needed this today! Thank you for posting it!

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  2. You're welcome, Nessa. I hope life is treating you well. :)

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  3. Wow. What an amazing story! I need to remember this. Thanks for sharing!

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