Forgiving the unforgivable

March 1, 2016

                                                                            …said Mahatma Gandhi.

We’re a society that likes revenge and retribution. Although horrible things happen in the world, seemingly unforgivable things, many religions ask us to forgive.

We don’t always rise to the occasion, especially when a life is taken due to someone’s carelessness, bad judgment or evil intentions.  So when someone steps up and models forgiveness in a big way, I pay attention.

Retired NBA star and coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder Monty Williams lost his beloved wife, the mother of his five children in a car crash. The other driver, Susannah Donaldson, was at fault. She was speeding. She died, as well.

I’ll let Williams’ own words in his eulogy tell the story:

We didn’t lose her. When you lose something you can’t find it. I know exactly where my wife is. I’ll miss holding her hand. I’ll miss talking with my wife.

Everybody is praying for me and my family, and that is right, but let us not forget that there were two people in this situation, and that family needs prayer as well. And we have no ill will toward that family. In my house, we have a sign that says ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the lord.’ We cannot serve the lord if we don’t have a heart of forgiveness.

That family didn’t wake up wanting to hurt my wife. Life is hard. Life is very hard. And that was tough. But we hold no ill will towards the Donaldson family. And we, as a group, brothers united in unity, should be praying for that family, because they grieve as well.

This is what a committed Christian who lives his faith looks like. He’s not arming up with weapons or even words. He’s forgiving the unforgivable.

Look around at the stupid, petty infractions that people don’t forgive.

I can only hope they read Coach Williams’ words and are embarrassed.

Sadly, I don’t think they have a clue.


34 comments on “Forgiving the unforgivable
  1. Barbara says:

    So powerful, Carol. He is what, I believe, most good people aspire to be but, it takes a lot of work to get there. We must keep working on it.

  2. I’m sending this to my friend, who is dealing with a fractured family over absolutely nothing. Perhaps it can help the mending. If not, it’s a message worth reading every day. Thank you, Carol. As always, you enlighten my day.

  3. Thank you for posting this wonderful message! It takes a great deal of strength, courage and faith to forgive in tragic circumstances and I admire what he said.

  4. Candy says:

    Couldn’t have said it any better. Hope more people read this

  5. Cara says:

    What a great message, I think he said it perfectly!

  6. Sadly, I have to agree with the last line of your post. But the rest of us can aspire to be as christian as Coach Williams. Talk about walking the walk. Thanks for this, Carol.

  7. As I sit here watching the election coverage on Super Tuesday, this was a breath of fresh air. I can breathe again.

  8. Hi Carol, Yes, truly a great example of recognizing that forgiveness is the key to love and peace for us all. How very aware Coach Williams is to be able to say that and mean it. Thank you for sharing. ~Kathy

  9. It can be so hard to forgive sometimes, but it truly is a powerful thing.

  10. Nora says:

    What an amazing person that man is. God bless him and his family

  11. andrea says:

    He SO gets it! we could all take lessons from him!

  12. You picked a topic I’ve been thinking of writing about for some time. Forgiveness often requires more strength than we thought we could summon in a thousand years. I’m glad someone of his stature spoke up.

  13. Beautiful message- forgiveness is such a powerful thing xx

  14. Sheryl says:

    Amazing to have the strength, resolve and courage to think the way he does…just incredible. thanks for sharing, Carol. It really makes you think. Such a sad situation.

  15. What an amazing story. Forgiveness is hard but anyone having trouble – especially with petty little things – should read this post. Wow.

  16. What a touching eulogy of not only his wife, but their life together, and of his faith. I was reminded of the Amish people who forgave the man that entered their children’s school and opened fire several years ago. The rallied around the shooters widow and children. It was so beautiful in the wake of such utter horror. Thanks for sharing this Carol. I feel like a better person just from having read it. If that makes any sense at all.

  17. To read how someone who has so much to be angry and vengeful for, is so forgiving and compassionate, gives me hope. I would strive to find the peace and kindness that Monty Williams exudes.

  18. Every person who walks the talk of forgiveness and peace adds a little bit of sunshine to the world – it’s a shame we hear less about them than the idiots and the angry ones!

  19. Living your beliefs with such compassion is beyond my understanding. I like to believe I am compassionate, but Monty’s actions make me know that I am no where close to his level of walking the walk.

  20. Wow, heavy stuff, but a powerful testimony. I think it’s hard because we really can’t expect others to even “have a clue” unless the Holy Spirit is at work in their lives.

  21. Jessica says:

    It definitely takes more strength to forgive than most people have.

  22. Elizabeth O says:

    My condolences go out to the families who lost a loved one in this terrible tragedy. It does take strength and faith to forgive and move forward… Deeply moving.

  23. What a nice saying! I’ve never come across this about forgiveness. It is very true, one has to be very strong to let go and forgive.

  24. Jonathan Key says:

    Monty’s words are so powerful. Forgiveness is such a powerful thing. I love the quote too by Ghandi at the beginning of the post!

  25. Carmela Mempin says:

    Forgiveness is the key for happiness and of the peace of mind. This is such an powerful post.

  26. This is such wonderful message…! It definitely takes more strength to forgive!

  27. such an inspiration. One of the hardest things to do is forgive and let go. Thank you for sharing this!

  28. I too believe thus, perfectly pent post!

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