Introduction to the Expanded Edition
I originally wrote of my journey of forgiveness in 2010. I shared what had occurred in this expedition up to that time. I was astounded at what God had done in my life when I obeyed his commands to forgive the murderer of my son and to “bless” him in active ways. I had grown in my experience of the freedom and joy that forgiveness brings. I wrote in obedience to God’s clear command.
I thought that the first book would be my final expression of this particular walk with God. I was very wrong. Before the English version of the book was published, I was contacted by an international publisher for the rights to publish the book in Europe. Along with this publication came extensive speaking opportunities throughout North America and Europe. Through the years, my story has been published in sixteen languages. The majority of these languages were in Europe—the continent that had so captured my heart. But, God has also brought this story of forgiveness to countries such as Rwanda, Pakistan, India, Ethiopia, and most recently, the Arabic-speaking countries. I could never have imagined that my simple story would be used of God on four continents!
Now, a documentary short film has been made of our story, Abstraction, which combines both our journey of forgiveness and my healing journey that began in a modern art museum. I continue to be amazed!
For this expanded edition, I chose to include the original version of the book, with only a few minor corrections and additions.
This is part one includes the story of the killing that began our lifelong journey of forgiveness and a very personal rehearsing of what I learned concerning the truth of God’s command to forgive. Also, there is additional material to be used by leaders, a short Bible search concerning forgiveness to be used by small groups, and some pertinent questions and answers regarding the scope of forgiveness.
Part two could be entitled, “The Rest of the Story.” While the unexpected spreading of my story internationally was amazing, it pales in comparison to what God has done in my life and the life of the man who killed our son since writing the first book in 2010. This section will tell of the growing relationship I have with this man and what is occurring now. It is the evidence of God’s continued work in our lives.
In part three, the forgiveness journeys of some “fellow travelers” will captivate your attention. These people—my husband, my daughter, and the murderer—will further instruct and amaze you concerning God’s power in forgiveness. Their individual journeys have much to tell. The inclusion of these three essays make this book unique as it looks at this topic from the viewpoint of different members of the family and includes a statement by the perpetrator of the crime that started all the journeys of forgiveness.
Let’s begin the chronicle of this pilgrimage of faith and freedom.