One of the most difficult challenges for even the most faithful Christian is to unconditionally forgive someone who has injured them in some way – especially if the offender is unrepentant.
That is why I say amen to the parents of Demetrius Hewlin, one of the three youngsters shot and killed this week by a murderous high school classmate in Chardon, Ohio.
In an interview with ABC News, Phyllis Ferguson, mother of 16-year-old Demetrius, was asked what she would say to T.J. Lane, the 17-year-old shooter who took her son’s life.
“I would tell him I forgive him,” she said.
The grieving mother’s sentiments are no doubt confounding to those who do not share her abiding faith, who are unfamiliar with the words of her Lord and Savior:
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Phyllis Ferguson taught her son that “forgiveness is divine” and that “God’s grace is new each and every day.”
It breaks her heart to bury her beloved son. “But it’s okay,” she said. “It’s in God’s hands. Let His will be done.”
While Demetrius is gone too soon, gone too tragically from this world, his mother declared, “He will live after his death.”
Hers is a peace that surpasses all understanding.