“Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.”
Some years ago, a very close and young relative of mine was shot and killed by one who was once considered a friend, family even.
When this first happened, the family immediately wanted “an eye for an eye”, myself included. But then I witnessed something extraordinary. The Mother of this relative who was murdered told the family. “Stop! Do not go after him!” Yes we knew who was responsible for his death and all of us were ready to go and drag him into the streets and shoot him down like a rabid dog.
I was shocked at how badly I wanted to end that person’s life that December 23 but in that moment, when she said “Stop!” I knew that a Higher Power was speaking through her to the rest of the family. It took some years for me to forgive that person for taking the life of a 19 year old boy.
The one responsible is now serving a lifelong sentence in prison and everyday, I pray for him. I know that he had written a letter to the Mother, telling her how sorry he was for taking her son’s life. She showed me the letter, tear stains evident from the one who wrote it. That day our own tears were added to that 3 page letter and in that moment a great weight was lifted from my heart and soul.
I helped the Mother write a letter back to that young man. More tears fell but now they were tears of forgiveness.
Author’s Bio: N.Gonzalez lives in the USA, married for 27 years with two grown children. Have been working for retail grocery for last 17 years. Writing is something enjoyed in free time.