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.

Now, recent events have set in motion an amazing follow-up to this amazing narrative.

Shannon's killer was found with several of her belongings in his possession — among them a Gemeinhardt flute she had worked hard to be able to afford. For the past 22 years, Darold and Barbara Bigger have kept Shannon’s flute as a reminder of their daughter. “I couldn't bring myself to look inside the case," Barbara says. "It sat for years in one spot in our bedroom.”

That all changed in early December of this year when the Biggers heard about a drive by the Rogue Valley Adventist Academy to supply musical instruments for students at Paradise Adventist Academy in California who had lost their instruments in the recent devastating Camp Fire.

Late last week, Jacob Kornhauser, a television reporter from Medford, Oregon, interviewed Barbara and Darold about the donation of their deceased daughter's flute to a survivor of the Camp Fire. Along with Shannon's flute, the Biggers also shared a copy of A Time to Forgive.

Darold and Barbara agree that it just seemed right that Shannon's flute find a new home with someone whose life had been turned upside down by tragedy. “Shannon would have loved to be the one donating the instrument, herself,” they thought.

“I'll have it for the rest of my life and it'll bring back memories of this time,” predicted Ashley Hamilton, the Paradise Adventist Academy student who received Shannon's flute. “I'm really overwhelmed.”

Two families, tied together by tragedy, are now sharing one common thread to help both heal. The simple story of a flute and its decades-long journey reminds us that our darkest days are often followed by our finest hours. “Tragedies don't need to end in tragedy,” Darold Bigger reflected.

The text story by Jacob Kornhauser is an amazing testimony and can be viewed by clicking here.

WATCH “A Flute of Fate” from KDRV NewsWatch 12 here:

Darold Bigger tells the intriguing story of forgiveness and healing in A Time to Forgive.

Click here to read the first chapter — free — online.

Darold Bigger has also created the Forgive Now Workshop on DVD.

Both these resources are available at your Adventist Book Center by calling 1-800-765-6955 or visiting the website. The book is also available on Amazon.

This article was written by Dale Galusha, president of Pacific Press Publishing, and was originally published in the Pacific Press e-newsletter. It is republished here with permission.

Image: Video still (KDRV NewsWatch 12).

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9309
1 Like

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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