Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sweet Forgiveness

Sorry it's been a while. I wish I had a witty entry for you today, but instead I have a touching little story that was part of my last writing assignment. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

The story is told by Bob Marquis, a prison ministry staff member, in Currents, a newsletter of Vision New England.

Not in my wildest fantasies could I have orchestrated what God did at Congress '96. I was manning one of the EANE booths on Saturday when I noticed an elderly lady eyeing me. For several minutes she stood there, as if trying desperately to figure out who I was. Finally she approached me and looked intently at my badge.

Looking up at me she said sternly, "I have a bone to pick with you!"

"Do I know you?" I asked, somewhat taken back.

"We've met before," she said, "back in 1967. But at that time you were holding a gun to my head, and you were so intent on getting out of my establishment that we were never properly introduced."

I then recognized her as the Jewish woman who owned a liquor store in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, which I had held up in 1967. At this point I braced myself for anything, but she broke out in a broad smile, gave me a hug and said, "Isn't it great how the Lord as changed both of our occupations?"

I asked her, "Does this mean I have been forgiven?"

"You were forgiven from the day I came to know Jesus Christ as my Savior in 1971, but I have not had the opportunity to tell you about it until today," she responded.

"But how did you recognize me after 29 years?" I asked.

"I kept the picture of you that appeared on the front page of the Woonsocket Call on the day you were arrested," she said. "I put it on a wall in my house and I would curse you and mentally throw darts at it almost daily until the day I was saved. From that day on I began praying daily for your salvation."
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