This is what biblical Christian grace and forgiveness looks like, folks.
It’s the kind of thing that — when they see it — often leaves outsiders to the faith scratching their heads.
Love your enemies, Jesus said.
It wasn’t just pretty words. It was a new way of living in this broken world.
And in the midst of a fatal shooting that left at least two people dead, one member from that Church in Texas offers his own gracious words.
For one thing, he acknowledges the existence of evil, and its ability to hit us anywhere.
When the shooter started killing, he shielded his wife’s body with his own:
Longtime West Freeway Church member John Richardson survived this morning’s shooting.
He and his wife hit the ground and he laid on top of her to protect her.
Here he selflessly says that he’s praying for the suspect’s family. pic.twitter.com/QFFjGpqMai
— Matt Howerton (@HowertonNews) December 29, 2019
And he had this to say about the shooter:
“My heart goes out to his family, because they have to live with this”.
“It’s a sad thing that he had to come into the congregation to hurt people, and it’s a sad thing that we had to hurt him. But I don’t have any hate for this person. I can’t — we can’t have hate for these people. We can’t have hate for anybody that does hate for us. We have to live that life of Christ that wants us to teach and preach and be that example of His on Earth to every person we can meet.
He’s not the only one in the congregation that feels this way.
Here is the pastor:
This is powerful. The media won’t cover this much. Make it go viral.
— Derek Utley (@realDerekUtley) December 30, 2019
He understood the significance of help being only six seconds away, rather than six minutes away but he was able to balance that against the horror of what unfolded, and the price that two members of his own congregation paid.