Jeri Mulder says the following story is what forgiveness looks like:
On May 20, 2012, 18 year-old Takunda Mavima was driving home drunk from a party when he lost control and crashed his car into an off-ramp near Grand Rapids, Michigan. Riding in the car were 17 year-old, Tim See, and 15 year-old, Krysta Howell. Both were killed in the accident.
Takunda Mavima lived.
Mavima pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to between 30 months and 15 years in prison.
Despite their unimaginable grief and anger, both the sister and the father of victim, Tim See, gave a moving address to the court on behalf of Mavima, urging the judge to give him a light sentence.
The father of one victims said, “I am begging you to let Takunda Mavima make something of himself in the real world — don’t send him to prison where he will get hard and bitter, that boy has learned his lesson a thousand times over, and he’ll never make the same mistake again.”
And when the hearing ended, the victim’s family made their way across the courtroom to embrace, console, and publicly forgive Mavima.
That is what forgiveness looks like.
Jeri reflects: Make sure this image sticks with you forever.
There will be a time in your life when someone will wrong you. (God forbid they take the life of your child.) And what matters most isn’t how it happened, but how you respond to it.
And if you’re a person of faith, the calling is even greater. The gospel of forgiveness isn’t a high calling for the heroic individual, or a counter-cultural description of heavenly perfection. It is a principle central to the gospel itself – the very heart of our faith in which we are called to embody.
In the swelling sea of human destruction, the little story of Takunda Mavima and a family from Michigan who forgave is a lighthouse on a hill, a beacon of hope, guiding the way for all our ships to pass through.
Right now, how can you prepare yourself with a clear plan of action to forgive in the darkest of times?