A Time to Forgive

Two families, tied together by tragedy, find a common path to healing...

In 1996, just weeks before she was to move back home to the Pacific Northwest, Shannon Bigger was murdered in her Maryland apartment. In A Time to Forgive, her father, Darold Bigger from Walla Walla University, tells the story of this awful tragedy and her parents' journey from unimaginable pain to an equally unimaginable forgiveness.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/arts-essays/2018/time-forgive
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Wonderful story of what happens when we can go beyond ourselves and share. A blessing.


Forgiveness Releases.
Releases the one who “sinned”.
Releases the one who “was sinned against”
This is WHY the statements of Jesus are SO POWERFUL.
“Forgive me as I forgive others their trespasses” – Lord’s Prayer.
"Leave my gift at the altar, return AFTER I have reconciled with “my brother”.
It is not always easy. Sometimes we have to ask Jesus to go with us. Ask
Jesus to forgive the person because we don’t have the power to do so on
our own. Especially in a situation like this.

God provided the opportunity to do just this around 2011. I had a person who
I thought was kind of a friend. We had been friendly for about a year and half.
At the end of that time my bank informed me someone had stolen some checks.
Had filled them out, received money for them totaling around $250. I knew
who it was. I sent him a note by way of his father warning him not to use any
more as the bank might force me to press charges.
About a year later I was at a noon healing service at Christ Church Episcopal
in downtown. This person was at the service. How appropriate I thought!! During
the service he apologized. Said he would pay me back. Said he had gone to
drug rehab and had taken training for drug counselor. And was working as a
full time drug counselor. It was with much emotion that I was able to forgive him
and to absolve him. Told him his debt was forgiven. It made me so happy to
do that! It was truly a Healing Service for both of us. And the most appropriate
place for God to bring us together for that event.


I think another message of this article and Steve’s response is that forgiveness is a process, not an event. We may choose to forgive another, perhaps multiple times for the same offense, but some hurts are not forgotten. And healing takes a long time, and will be finished in heaven, not before. There are also those who misuse the phrase “forgive and forget” as permission to forget their own wrongs to others, but that doesn’t mean the injured individual can forget.


ARE we required to forget?
But what we remember are
the deed done, and any associated pain, anger at the time
The feeling when forgiveness is given, the feeling exhibited when forgiveness
is acknowledged and accepted by the perpetrator.
Both are FREE for a renewed relationship with one another.

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