We’re a society that likes revenge and retribution. Although horrible things happen in the world, seemingly unforgivable things, many religions ask us to forgive.
We don’t always rise to the occasion, especially when a life is taken due to someone’s carelessness, bad judgment or evil intentions. So when someone steps up and models forgiveness in a big way, I pay attention.
Retired NBA star and coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder Monty Williams lost his beloved wife, the mother of his five children in a car crash. The other driver, Susannah Donaldson, was at fault. She was speeding. She died, as well.
I’ll let Williams’ own words in his eulogy tell the story:
We didn’t lose her. When you lose something you can’t find it. I know exactly where my wife is. I’ll miss holding her hand. I’ll miss talking with my wife.
Everybody is praying for me and my family, and that is right, but let us not forget that there were two people in this situation, and that family needs prayer as well. And we have no ill will toward that family. In my house, we have a sign that says ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the lord.’ We cannot serve the lord if we don’t have a heart of forgiveness.
That family didn’t wake up wanting to hurt my wife. Life is hard. Life is very hard. And that was tough. But we hold no ill will towards the Donaldson family. And we, as a group, brothers united in unity, should be praying for that family, because they grieve as well.
This is what a committed Christian who lives his faith looks like. He’s not arming up with weapons or even words. He’s forgiving the unforgivable.
Look around at the stupid, petty infractions that people don’t forgive.
I can only hope they read Coach Williams’ words and are embarrassed.
Sadly, I don’t think they have a clue.