Forgiveness is such a hard concept to wrap your head around sometimes. On one hand, you're angry that something bad happened to you. You might even be scared to move forward. The victims of that horrible shooting in Colorado have every right to feel angry, hurt, and scared. They might be thinking: why me?
It's impossible to make sense of evil acts. I pray for those people, who are dealing with so much emotional and physical trauma right now.
But I was also so moved to hear that one of the shooting victims, Pierce O'Farrill, says he has forgiveness for the shooter. He says:
"When I think what that soul must be like to have that much hatred and that much anger in his heart--what every day must be like. I can't imagine getting out of bed every morning and having that much anger and hatred for people that he undoubtedly has. I'm not angry at him. I'll pray for him."
What an amazing attitude. Every one of the Colorado victims will deal with the emotions of this awful event differently. Every one of them will get to a place of forgiveness at different times. Some may never get there, which is completely understandable. Forgiveness, like grief, is a process. It comes in stages.
To reiterate what I've said many times, forgiveness is not about saying what the person did (in this case, what the shooter did) was right. There's no way you can justify it. It wasn't right. It was an evil, senseless act.
Forgiveness doesn't take away the seriousness of what was done. Forgiveness helps the victim. In this case, O'Farrill's words take on lightness and maturity that is hard to understand. But what a blessing they are. I'm happy for him to get to this emotional place. Perhaps the forgiveness he extends will help him to move past this tragedy, because that is exactly what the act of forgiving is supposed to do.