As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been intentional watching the news to learn more about the victims and survivors of the Aurora shootings. Maybe it’s a mama’s heart, or the love for news I’ve carried since I was 6 years old. Whatever the case, one of the most moving interviewees I’ve ever seen has captured me twice, sadly because of tragedy and the aftermath.
Craig Scott was a teenager and a survivor of the 1999 Columbine shootings. I was a new mom at the time and I cried with the rest of America when Katie Couric interviewed Craig soon after. Although he survived, his sister, Rachel, did not.
One of the news shows I watched last weekend featured Craig, now an adult with a decade plus perspective on the impact the shooting had on his life. He told of a long season I didn’t know he struggled with, or to what extent: forgiveness.
No one could blame Craig or his family for harboring ill-will towards his sister’s killers. But the bitterness was toxic and accelerated inside his heart and spewed like lava over his actions. One day the rage hit rock bottom when he recounted pinning his brother down and holding a knife to him.
He realized he had to let go of the unforgiveness. He explained forgiving didn’t excuse the people or what they did, forgiving was unlocking the prison door and realizing it is you that is set free. I’ve heard this before, I’ve even shared it. But what a powerful statement when it comes from a shooting survivor who saw the path of destruction he was on.
I don’t receive a million hits a day, and that isn’t why I blog. I believe someone is reading this right now who realizes there is a prison, and they are confined through unforgiveness. Your days and nights are filled with the things you wished you could have said, and actions you long to fulfill. You seethe knowing those people are sleeping just fine while all you do is toss and turn. Maybe you didn’t take a bullet, but perhaps a barrage of words or unwanted touches pierced your heart.
It is time to let it go.
Not for their sake, but for yours.
It’s a step I’m taking too. Afterall, I write about surrendering the good, the bad, and—maybe one day—the chocolate. I don’t have anything mastered. I’m in this journey, too.
There is a song about forgiveness that sums the freedom that comes if you’re willing to take that first step. I chose this video because the powerful lyrics are included.
By the way, I read an interesting interview Craig Scott gave concerning Rachel’s faith. It included details of her last day I never knew about. You can read that here.
Forgiveness image by photobucket