Last Sunday, which happened to be Easter, a sick murdering coward walked up on 74-year-old Robert Godwin and shot him point blank in the head and posted the video on Facebook. That coward’s name was Steve Stephens, who is now also deceased, after killing himself on Tuesday in Erie, PA, while on the run from police.
Many Americans felt troubled and saddened by the loss of Godwin, even though they didn’t know him. What many saw was a defenseless elderly man tragically murdered and many wanted revenge. There were videos placed on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube by common sense thinkers and even thugs who wanted Stephens to die for this heinous act.
What many have not been able to grasp was thatthe family of Godwin forgave Stephens. They bonded together and let the world know even though they didn’t have their patriarch any longer due to Stephens actions, they were not going to hold it against him.
Rev. Franklin Graham, son of America’s pastor Billy Graham, saw that and it touched him. Graham took to Facebook and wrote to the family.
Source: Rev Graham’s Facebook
Even in their time of grief, the family of Robert Godwin, Sr., the 74-year-old Cleveland man who was murdered on Sunday, is able to share with the world about God’s love and forgiveness. Their father left an undying legacy—they said he taught them how to fear God, how to love God, and to forgive. They forgive the man who killed their father.
Watch in this CNN video as his daughter shares that if she didn’t know God as her Savior she couldn’t forgive. God commands us to forgive, and Jesus set the ultimate example. As He was dying on the cross— without sin, but bearing the penalty for the sins of mankind—Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
It hurts so deeply to watch this family face this tragedy but America wrapped their arms around them and prayed with them. The entire nation was on the hunt for Stephens, which likely weighed heavily on his decision to take his own life.
Graham beautifully summed up the family’s Christian spirit so eloquently and actually gave me a little peace about the subject.
Do you share the sentiments of Graham and Godwin’s family that forgiveness is the best response? Share your thoughts below!