I just stumbled across a Christian singer who takes stories from his fans and writes songs about them. His name is Matthew West.
He wrote and performs a song called “Forgiveness” about a woman, Renee, whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver. Not unlike some other mothers in this situation, Renee turned her grief into action and began speaking at schools, telling her story and encouraging young people to never drink and drive.
After a while, though, Renee realized that there was something more she needed to do.
As a follower of Jesus, she felt she needed to forgive the young man who had killed her daughter by driving drunk. Renee went to visit Eric in prison, where he was serving a 22-year sentence.
Her act changed Eric’s life. He had not been able to forgive himself, but Renee’s witness to her faith and her ability to forgive him allowed him to receive God’s forgiveness.
One by one her family members followed her lead and went to see Eric and forgive him.
They grew so close that they began to consider Eric part of their family. Renee even went to court and was able to get Eric's sentence cut in half, from 22 to 11 years. He now goes and speaks with Renee about forgiveness.
In a video about how the song came to be, Renee says: “It’s a story that needs to be told. It’s not about me. It’s about God and it’s about forgiveness.”
I was blessed to hear this story. I am going to remember Renee and Eric when there are people in my own life that I need to forgive.
If Renee can do it, so can I.