“Where there is injury let me sow pardon.” – Francis of Assisi
A man had been going down a bad path. He had been drinking a lot, partying and fighting. One night he work up in a hospital bed after a night of partying and fighting. As he tried to move he realized he was handcuffed to the bed. The police officer who was standing watch over him told him that he had driven drunk and ran into a van. The van carried a family of 4. All but 1 in the van was killed, including two young children.
Incredible grief and guilt flooded throughout his veins. He vowed to make a change. He went to therapy, joined an anti-gang support group, cleaned up from the drugs and alcohol and sought to live a more healthy life. He joined a church and desperately tried to make changes to his life but everything still seemed hollow and he knew he was lost. Nothing he was doing would take the haunting images of the family away.
One day he received a phone call. The father from the van had tracked him down and wanted to talk. In a brief meeting, the father shared how he had been full of grief, hatred and pain but he realized that the man who killed his family also would be feeling grief. The only way he knew to release it was to forgive. He quoted Francis of Assisi: “Where there is injury let me sow pardon.” When he left, he said “I forgive you, I hope you can forgive yourself.”
The man never said a word to the father. Instead, he cried throughout the night and prayed. The next day he went to a tattoo parlor and had the following inscription tattooed over his scars from the accident. “”Where there is injury let me sew pardon.” The stitches that were sewn to cover his wounds would serve for him as a reminder of the forgiveness given to him and that which he should give to others.
Luke 23:34: Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.