Circle of Forgiveness

circle_of_forgiveness

“He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven.”

—Thomas Fuller

Chris Williams was driving with his pregnant wife and their four kids when their car was struck by another. As Chris looked at the overturned vehicle that had struck him, he decided at that time, no matter the consequences of the accident, he would unconditionally forgive the driver who caused the accident.

Chris quickly discovered the crash had taken not only his wife and unborn child, but also his oldest son Ben and daughter Anna, leaving him, his two youngest children, and the driver of the other vehicle as the only survivors. Later that evening, he was informed that the other driver, a seventeen-year-old high school senior, was suspected of being intoxicated. Chris’s priority was for his surviving family members; however, he promptly turned his concern toward the teenager who caused the deadly accident.

As Chris attended a press conference regarding the accident, he expressed his forgiveness and concern for the teenager. Regardless of Chris’s willingness to forgive and move on, the teen was charged with four counts of vehicular homicide, driving under the influence with an alcohol level of almost twice the legal limit, and fleeing the scene of the accident. In part due to Chris’ influence, the teen was tried and sentenced in juvenile court.

Chris was no stranger to forgiveness. When Chris was sixteen years old, he was driving his car through a neighborhood. Although Chris was an excellent driver and followed all of the rules, there was nothing he could do when two young boys (brothers age three and four) darted into the street from between parked vehicles. Chris struck both of them; three days after the accident, the four year old boy died. After the incident, Chris was showered with kindness and forgiveness.

The boys’ family did the right thing toward Chris by forgiving him when he was a teenager. And, as an adult, Chris did the right thing by forgiving the teenager who took the lives of his family members. Without a circle of forgiveness, both situations could have been much more tragic.

The road of life may present you with unexpected twists and turns. We must all try to take the ‘high-road’ whenever possible because we never know what lies around the corner.

 

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