A lesson in grace brings us today’s word-of-the-week…
Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez was guilty of murdering her son, Odin Lloyd. She stepped forward to speak before final sentencing.
“I forgive the hands of the people who had a hand in my son’s murder, either before or after.”
She’s a better person than I am. That was the takeaway of many news folks and talking heads as they marveled at this woman’s uncommon grace and courage.
They missed the whole point. They missed it because they didn’t listen to the whole statement.
Ms. Ward began with a remarkable comment: “I thank God for being here this morning.”
Seriously? Gratitude to God for that moment? I wonder why no one focused on that rather incredible demonstration of faith?
Then she ended with this simple benediction: “May God continue to bless us.”
If you listen to the entire statement, you hear grief, anger, pain, saddness–Ms. Lloyd wasn’t in denial and she’s wasn’t pulling punches.
She didn’t forgive because she thinks she’s stronger or better than anyone else. I think she understands her relationship to God. I think she understands her weakness.
I know I’m reading a lot into a few lines. I suspect she knows that forgiveness isn’t an event. She didn’t forgive her son’s killers in that courtroom so she could be done forgiving.
She did it so she could travel a difficult, daily journey of forgiveness that will allow her and her family to heal without bitterness and anger.
We can only choose that journey because we know we don’t have to travel alone. Jesus already walked the road…He knows the way.
May God continue to bless Ursula Ward, her family, Aaron Hernandez, and all of us on the journey
HAVE A GREAT WEEK!
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