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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
October 12, 2000

Justice didn't heal me. Forgiveness did.
Debbie Morris

Debbie Morris and her boyfriend were kidnapped by two men. She was raped, and her boyfriend was stabbed, burned and shot, but survived. These same men brutally murdered another young woman. One of the criminals, Robert Lee Willie, became widely known through the book by Sister Helen Prejean, Dead Man Walking, later turned into a movie. Debbie has written her own book, Forgiving the Dead Man Walking.

Not surprisingly, this horrible experience scarred the 16 year old Debbie, and her life was a mess for several years. The night before Willie's execution, Debbie realized his death would not end the torment that wracked her life.

That night, Debbie turned to God and prayed that her burden of hate and anger would be taken away. She also prayed for Willie. This first step of forgiveness began a process of healing for Debbie.

Debbie went public with her story two years ago to show "the kinds of evil and kinds of pain that Jesus can heal." The truth of God's grace and Christ's healing power is something we all need to learn, whether or not we ever face anything so horrible as Debbie endured.

Forgiveness is not fundamentally about someone who has wronged us. It is about cleansing ourselves of anger and hatred that separate us from God and spoil our lives.

True forgiveness does make practical sense, but we can not do it on our own, certainly in a circumstance as horrible as Debbie's. We need to bring our hurt to God, and let God's grace work to free ourselves from its bondage.

Do you have some hurt, whether big or small, that eats at you? Bring it to God in prayer, and open yourself up for God's grace and healing.

Bill Samuel

©2000 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 27-Dec-2003 09:46:01 EST