Choir Notes

The Path of Forgiveness and Healing
From Music and the Spoken Word
Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell • Program 4327

It’s easy to talk about forgiveness: about wanting to forgive, hoping to forgive, even knowing that someday we will need to forgive. It’s much more difficult to choose to forgive. But those who do find that this critical choice marks an important first step on the path to true healing.
Such was the case with Chris Williams, who had every reason not to forgive. A few years ago, a 17-year-old drunk driver hit the car he was driving, killing his expectant wife and two of their four children. Severely injured, Chris lay trapped in the car, feeling the most intense pain he had ever experienced. He later recounted that in the midst of all the chaos, his thoughts went quiet, and he felt peace enough to hear a voice inside his mind—a voice that was "straightforward and filled with power.” It simply said, "Let it go!”1 And so, in that very moment, Chris decided that, no matter what the future held, he would forgive. He would set his feet on the path of forgiveness and, in effect, save his own life.
As the next weeks turned into years, Chris repeatedly acted upon his choice to forgive. In the hospital emergency room, he asked a friend to pray for the teenage driver. To the press, he issued a statement asking for stories of forgiveness that he could share with his surviving sons. As Chris began to heal, he reached out to the driver. He prayed for the young man; he encouraged him to go forward and make something of his life.
Choosing to forgive did not make everything easy for Chris ever after. He still experienced intense periods of grief and loneliness, heartache and anguish. But he sought heaven’s help and strength. He remembered the peace he had felt and the decision he had made. And, without fail, every time he chose to "let it go,” his burden was lifted and he took one more step on the path of forgiveness and healing.
1 Chris Williams, Let It Go: A True Story of Tragedy and Forgiveness (2012), 28.

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