Two Fathers and Forgiveness: If they can do it . . .

Here is another story from our own day about forgiveness of “biblical proportions.”

As I re-read this article (from my “clippings” file) I thought again about the small acts of forgiveness that I have been asked to make. I thought again of the little annoyances that have the potential of becoming destructive prisons if simple words of forgiveness are never spoken. I also thought about the stories shared with me over the years of “heroic acts” of forgiveness that proved liberating: forgiving betrayals in the marriage relationship, forgiving coworkers whose dishonesty cost a job, forgiving family members for lies and half-truths leading to estrangement, and more. In both the little and the big moments of forgiveness there is seldom forgetfulness—one remembers the hurt, the wrong—but there is always a sense of freedom from the pain when the words of forgiveness can be spoken.

Let the big stories, such as these, inspire the small stories of forgiveness in your life. Also, let the big stories, such as these, inspire the the heroic acts of forgiveness to which you may be called. ~dan

Before the men sat in the kitchen, a humble place for such an event, they had walked in the garden. Two fathers, both raised in Catholic schools, both divorced from their children’s mothers, both who helped raise a son and a daughter, talked for more than an hour.

That the meeting took place seems miraculous. One man owns a business and had traveled from middle America. The other, in whose house they met, works in a New York state factory. They want the same thing: to save the son of the New York man from execution.

The father from Oklahoma, Emmett E. “Bud” Welch, had buried his daughter, Julie-Marie, on a 1995 spring day.

New York state resident William McVeigh is the father of the man sentenced to die for killing Julie-Marie and 167 others on April 19, 1995, in the Oklahoma City bombing of the Murrah Federal Building.

via Oklahoma City Bombing: Two Fathers and Forgiveness – April 2000 Issue of St. Anthony Messenger Magazine Online.

Author: Daniel Rondeau

I am a husband and father and an Episcopal Priest (now retired) in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego.

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