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:firstname.lastname@example.org