In selfless and amazing acts of Christian love, Josiah's family issued statements about their desire to forgive the driver for taking their son's life. They attended a church service which was also attended by the driver and some of his family and friends, and nationwide news reports showed Karl Sisson, Josiah's father, publicly embracing the 24year old driver.
The family's grace in the face of this avoidable tragedy and particularly the actions of Karl Sisson to me exemplify the transforming power of God's love. When they had every reason for anger and hatred and bitterness, they chose the path of love and forgiveness and personal reconciliation.
Justice still needs to be done and the person responsible will still face the penalties for their actions. In a way though, through their response, Karl and his family have demonstrated the bigger picture. The person concerned needs to face repentance and get right with God, as well as face the human consequences.
The path of forgiveness is still a lonely and difficult road. I pray that the Sisson family will know God's loving hand upon them, and that the support of extended family and friends and their church family, both familiar and strangers, will bring them comfort.
There is a message of forgiveness here for us all. Many of us hang on to past hurts and grievances far less serious that the one described above. Can we look upon the passing of the old year as a time to wipe the slate clean? Doing so allows room to change and grow and enjoy new pursuits and relationships. Doing so is a gift to give yourself.