For­give­ness heals..!

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION -

Iknow that for­give­ness heals! Sue Nor­ton lives in Arkansas City, Kansas. She re­ceived ter­ri­ble news in Jan­uary 1990. Her much beloved, daddy, Richard Denny and his wife Vir­ginia were found mur­dered in their home.

Sue says she felt “numb”. She couldn’t un­der­stand why some­one would want to hurt peo­ple who were old and poor. The loss of her dad just broke her heart. Sue sat through the trial of Robert Knighton (B.K). She was con­fused about how she should feel. She said that ev­ery­one in the court­room was con­sumed with hate. They all ex­pected her to feel the same. But she couldn’t hate the way they did be­cause she says, “it didn’t feel good.”

The last night of the trial she knew there must be an­other way. When morn­ing came, she had this thought. “Sue, you don’t have to hate B.K., you could for­give him”. Sue got per­mis­sion to visit B.K. through the bars of his hold­ing cell. Sue told him “I don’t know what to say to you. But I want you to know that I don’t hate you. If you are guilty, I for­give you.”

Peo­ple thought Sue had lost her mind. Friends would step to the other side of the road to avoid her. But Sue says, “There is no way to be healed and get over the trauma with­out for­give­ness!” Winifred Potenza lives in Santa Rosa, Cal­i­for­nia. Potenza’s old­est son, Jonathan 21 and his girl friend, Lisa Ro­driguez had just moved to Santa Rosa from their home in New York in 1989. Late one evening both young peo­ple were killed in­stantly when their car was struck by a drunk driver.

Potenza was in­con­solable. Her grief was un­bear­able and she of­ten found her­self walk­ing the streets late at night sob­bing and scream­ing for her chil­dren. The district at­tor­ney de­cided to charge Wil­liam, the driver with mur­der. This charge was done with the ex­treme in­sti­ga­tion of Potenza.

One day sitting in the court­room Potenza saw Wil­liam for the first time. In that in­stant she re­al­ized he was not the mon­ster she had been told he was. She says she thought, “Oh, my God, this is wrong.” She re­al­ized that Wil­liam also had par­ents who loved their son. She said, “He did not com­mit mur­der, it was a tragic ac­ci­dent”. Potenza rose from her seat and walked right past the guards to give him a hug.

Potenza for­gave Wil­liam and be­came his friend and ad­vo­cate. For­give­ness helped her heal. Potenza worked tire­lessly to have his charges re­duced to man­slaugh­ter and have his sen­tence re­duced. Af­ter seven years of im­pris­on­ment Wil­liam was re­leased on pa­role. For these two peo­ple for­give­ness helped in heal­ing..! — Email:bob­s­ban­ter@gmail.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.