“My daughter was only 19 when she was raped,” she began. “She hasn’t been the same person since. And neither have I.”

It was a sad story. I get calls like this pretty often. The young lady mentioned here had a complete personality change after this devastating event. She was an only child. So, obviously, her parents was just as devastated. Hope crushed. A bright future snuffed out. An overwhelming sense of loss and hurt and shame. Unfortunately, it’s a story that’s all too common…

But right now, let’s focus on the mom. She made a starting confession (though understandable) to me when she called. Let me explain.

She explained that she was reading my book, “What Are The Stakes?,” and it helped her to realize that she absolutely HATED the boy who had done this to her daughter. But then she said what I hoped to hear: “I realized I needed to forgive him, because that hatred was eating me up on the inside.”

“I saw him in town recently,” she continued, “so I asked him if I could talk to him for a minute.”

The young man consented.

“I told him how hurt I was; how much our entire family was hurt by what he had done to our only child, and then I told him that I forgave him.”

“He just sort of sat there without responding,” she explained. “I don’t know what I expected, but I admit it was confusing for me to see him just shrug his shoulders as I told him I forgave him.”

“Then I went home,” she went on, “and I realized how good and unburdened I felt because I had forgiven him. I never knew hatred–even justified hatred–could be such a heavy burden until I put it down.”

“Thank you,” she concluded.

It made my day.

Lord, thank You for using my meager efforts as a writer to help lift the burden off a fellow traveler. In Jesus Name…

Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?”