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After the Aurora shooting, I was scheduled to speak at morning services at Denver Community Church, just blocks away. Instead of the message I had planned, the pastor asked me to speak about the proper response to this unthinkable act.
"My wife and I forgive Karl Pierson for what he did. We would ask all of you here and all of you watching to forgive Karl Pierson. He didn't know what he was doing."As the father of a young woman, I'm sure such an extension of grace cannot have come easily. Their words of mercy are both astounding and familiar. In the Davis' plea,s I hear an echo of the words of Jesus on the cross, who asked his father to have mercy on his own executioners. In the Passion of Jesus, one the most influential stories in the Western world, we see a model of forgiveness that doesn't just cancel Custom Printed Polo Shirts Uk
Answer gun violence with forgiveness
After the guns go silent, we often hear two warring opinions. One voice demands cold, swift justice against the offender, who is painted as a monster. The other advises us to "forgive and forget," brushing away the hurt and moving forward as though it had never happened, as though no one bore responsibility. Both these approaches fail to deal Lacoste Shirts Price
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords after being shot in the head in Tucson on Jan. The other advises us to "forgive and forget."
with the wounded hearts and fractured relationships. We cannot move forward without justice. And we cannot heal without forgiveness. To be restored, we must learn to hold justice and forgiveness together in a single, restorative tension.
Survivors say that when you Fred Perry Men's Twin Tipped Polo Shirt Black
hold onto anger, it poisons your soul and you can't heal.
Better than any sermon, I think the response of Michael and Desiree Davis shows us the way forward. Their 17 year old daughter, Claire, was fatally shot by fellow student Karl Pierson on Dec. 13. At a televised service for their daughter last week, Davis told the mourners he had forgiven the boy, who turned the gun on himself moments after shooting Claire:
When I heard the news of last month's school shooting outside Denver, I instantly recalled the heaviness I felt on the plane to deliver that previous sermon. "What words could possibly give comfort?" I wondered then. What is the "appropriate" response to unimaginable acts of violence that upend our sense of security?
The response that gives us the best chance for healing in the wake of the unthinkable is to forgive though not excuse the offender, and remember those we have lost. As counterintuitive as this might seem when considered from the depths of pain and loss, we Lacoste T Shirt For Men have seen this truth borne out in the lives of many victims we encounter in our ministry to those affected by crime. When you hold onto anger, these survivors say, it poisons your own soul. But when you allow grace to swallow hatred and love to triumph over death, you can recall the past differently. You can honor the memories of loved ones lost without bitterness.
This week marks three years since Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in an Tucson parking lot, striking Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D Ariz., and 18 others. Along with the violence at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., Giffords' shooting has loomed large in the public debate about our ever shrinking sense of safety. Events like these demand a response, but the right response is elusive.
an offense but seeks to be in a whole, reconciled relationship with the offenders.
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