I promise not all my Wednesday posts are going to be pulled from old Utah newspapers, but I thought this story of forgiveness was particularly moving. Mother of shooting victim forgives killer. While it’s an amazingly huge thing to do—many of us would be inclined to punish the killer to the full extent of the law—I’m struck most of all, by the healing forgiveness in and of itself lends to both parties in a situation like this.

For a long time now, I’ve carried a hurt that happened to me. On a subconscious level I refused to accept any responsibility for it because the person who did it to me was/is, clearly, a bad person. They deserved my grudge. But holding onto that hurt, holding onto that pain, excusing myself from moving past all of the things the hurt caused, didn’t help me. It didn’t help me at all.

I suppose you could say forgiving that person was really rather selfish of me. That person certainly doesn’t care what I think about them. But for me, being able to drop the victim card, watch it flutter to the ground, and stomp on it repeatedly was all at once freeing and healing.

Back to the news story. I do think there are people that are truly horrible individuals. People who ought to be kept from injuring other people. But in this case, perhaps the powerful action of a mother missing her son standing before a court and offering her grand gift, “We forgive Sione Kauvaka” truly will inspire and move him to live a better life. I would hope and believe it would.