The following story was recently released .
Play this video for your students [6:35; stop playing at 3:35].
Forgiveness After The Ultimate Tragedy Turns Strangers Into Brothers | TODAY
- Imagine you’re Erik seeing Matt for the first time after his falling asleep at the wheel fatally wounded your wife and unborn child. How would you feel? (Accept all reasonable answers. Most of us would be angry, resentful, and desire revenge. We might experience the trauma all over again. We might also be irritated we now have to work with this person who cared so little for us and took so much from us that we ended up here in the first place.)
- Imagine you’re Matt in this moment. How do you feel? (Accept all reasonable answers. We might be fearful of Erik’s anger, or ashamed of our past behavior, or humbled by the way the two were brought back together.)
- What were the motivations to not forgive? What were the motivations to forgive? (Accept all reasonable answers. On the one hand, can you offer forgiveness and still grieve for the people you lost? On the other hand, faith, empathy, and desire to follow Jesus’ plan for forgiveness motivated Erik to forgive.)
You may find this story inspiring or upsetting. A remarkable story of forgiveness, it’s still unfair that Erik lost his wife and unborn baby in the tragic accident. It would’ve been easy not to forgive Matt, but God was at work.
This specific story may not provide the blueprint for how to forgive someone who’s wronged you, but it does offer an illustration of God’s compassion and graciousness to all. Though people live selfishly and do nothing to deserve God’s kindness, God forgives and extends His goodness anyway.