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As a survivor of a violet crime, I have seen what can take place to a person first hand, who has fallen deeply into things that carry no respect for self, nor others through actions that no human being with the fear of God could ever carry out. It was by the grace of our Lord that I survived, and by the grace of our Lord that I could forgive and move closer to Him, as I know it was Him who carried me out and through it. It is that same grace today that I praise Him. It is that same grace He offers to ALL of us, to be accepted or denied. Forgiveness does not mean we allow violent criminals to walk free from the harm they have caused, but allows the healing of that crime that was committed to begin.
I can never support the death penalty as it does not open a door for repentance in this life, for the survivor or the criminal. Nor does taking the life of another take away the harm, pain and suffering it has caused. It happened and I have to live with it. The only recourse, be it for me or them, is to forgive them so both can keep walking with the same ability to turn toward our Lord and seek forgiveness through repentance. It is not for me to ponder nor spend any time worrying if my attacker has repented or not, as we both, one day will have to face our Lord. I pray for my attacker as I pray for everyone. “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
I have written about my attack and the early aftermath here. Please read: The Power Of Forgiveness