Thursday, August 09, 2012

Colorado Shooting Survivor Forgives Gunman

O'Farrill speaks with reporters, July 26, 2012. Aaron Ontiveroz/Denver Post

Colorado shooting victim on James Holmes: ‘I forgive him with all my heart’
By Dylan Stableford, Yahoo! News | The Lookout – Thu, Jul 26, 2012

It would be understandable for the victims of the Colorado theater shooting and their families to want retribution.

But Pierce O'Farrill, a 28-year-old who was shot three times in the Aurora massacre, says he has forgiven James Holmes, the suspected shooter in last week's Aurora, Colo., massacre.

"Of course, I forgive him with all my heart," O'Farrill told reporters shortly before his release from the Univ. of Colorado Hospital on Wednesday. "When I saw him in his hearing, I felt nothing but sorrow for him--he's just a lost soul right now."

O'Farrill--a staffer at the Denver Rescue Mission, a Christian charity organization that helps "people at their physical and spiritual points of need, with the goal of returning them to society as productive, self-sufficient citizens"--told the Denver Post he would eventually like to meet Holmes.

"I want to see him sometime," O'Farrill, one of 58 people wounded in the shooting, said. "The first thing I want to say to him is 'I forgive you,' and the next is, 'Can I pray for you?'"

O'Farrill's compassion is in stark contrast to the brother of Jessica Ghawi, one of 12 people killed in Friday's "Dark Knight Rises" rampage.

Jordan Ghawi did not attend Holmes' first court appearance on Monday because he feared he might try to avenge his sister's death.

"I was afraid that I may try to get my hands on that man," Jordan Ghawi said in an interview with CNN outside the Arapahoe County District Court shortly after the hearing...

READ more at this original article entitled:
"Colorado shooting victim on James Holmes: ‘I forgive him with all my heart’"

Here is a selection of some of the comments that were under this yahoo article (See the Huff Post article for over 559 Comments by now!)

Tara • 13 days ago
Ok, a guy shot three times forgives the shooter, while Yahoo reported yesterday that a guy who was just present in the theater and not injured is suing the theater and the movie studio. What's wrong with this picture?

FUBAR • New York, New York • 13 days ago
Whether you agree or disagree with O'Farrill you have
to admit one thing...He does 'practice what he preaches.'

Henry1 day 20 hrs ago
...I say "Praise the Lord" for saving the lives of all the other people in the Theatre. Why should we dwell on the horrors that occurred that night. We need to forgive all people, not just those who come asking for forgiveness. God has already forgiven all people for the sins we have commited. Thats what Jesus did.

Chris • 13 days ago
Here is an example of a person that talks the talk and walks the walk....wishes for a speedy recovery

t10 days ago
ClassicSporty : I have no problem forgiving people when they are truly sorry for what they've done. That is not the case here. The man brutally shot and killed 70 people and from the looks of it is not sorry 1 lick. He hasn't earned forgiveness and doesn't deserve it in my book.

YouKidMe • 13 days ago
I understand this....hate eats you up from inside and poisons your life. It becomes all you think about and keeps one from moving on and healing. I also understand the desire for revenge. I have been there. The longer I hung on to the hate, more more slowly I recovered. can take a long, long time to really forgive.

Macy Marun13 days ago
I don't forgive people because of a Bible telling me to. I forgive everyone who has wronged me because hate makes me feel so ugly inside and really just damages me. Once I let go of my hatred and started forgiving, I felt like the world's weight was finally off my shoulders. I no longer refer to myself as Atlas. I can understand why this man forgave Holmes, and I hope all the victims and families can do it to start healing faster, too.

Stenton23 • 13 days ago
Coming on the heels of that other victim, who hired a PR firm and a lawyer for his lawsuit, no less. For this man, I have such admiration! Would that I could find such grace in my heart. God bless him. Truly inspirational.

Sharon12 days ago
Mike, Of course we all care about the others killed and injured but this story was about one person forgiving another. Just because you forgive him for what he did to you doesn't mean you think he shouldn't be punished for his acts.

Anaheim, California • 13 days ago
Hate is easy in a situation like this... It takes strength to forgive.

Chief • 13 days ago
I'll give this young man credit.... he's a better man than I.

Fats • Los Angeles, California • 13 days ago
People who post that they are angry he has forgiven the shooter seem to not understand that he is not saying he would let him go free. You can forgive someone but they still have to pay for it .

Lola • 13 days ago
Forgiveness, in my opinion is necessary for some to move on in life. While he may forgive Holmes, he will never forget. Bless this man for being the man he is.

What Now • 13 days ago
I think Pierce O'Farrell is doing something very healthy by setting an intention to let go and let "God". He turned this over to a higher power. Hate is like an addiction that stirs your insides and eats you alive if you continue to feed into it. This doesn't mean that by forgiving Holmes I'd agree he should also go unpunished. I doubt that is what O'Farrell intends here either by saying what he did. What he's doing is not allowing Holmes to rent any more space in his head and poison his thoughts.
Alot of the servicmen who suffered PTSD after the Viet Nam war found it was a very healing experience for them to revisit Viet Nam when they were ready later in life and return to the same places and meet the same people they were in combat with.

Janet D • 13 days ago
Thinking and praying for you, Pierce O'Farrill. I hope everyone will learn from you. God bless you and your family.

JP • 13 days ago
Forgiveness is a very powerful soul healer. It will allow him to move on more quickly.

DL • 12 days ago
O'Farrell is doing what is in his heart, what works for him. That doesn't mean it's something other folks shot (or the families of those who were murdered) have to do as well. However, what I find the most scarey are those who demonize Holmes, who wish to torture him, for example. When you express those sentiments, without investigation (which hasn't happened yet) into the event and him as a person, you premeditatively call for the death (etc.) of another: in short, you perpetuate the violence. You continue to create a culture of violence. How does that help?

Mike Bloise • Washington, District of Columbia • 13 days ago
This victim is cool!......

O.G • Los Angeles, California • 13 days ago
Love this verse..."You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire."
Matthew 5:21-24

Sad • 9 days ago
Forgiveness is pretty difficult, I have to say. I think sometimes it is easier to forgive someone who hurts you than it is to forgive someone who hurts someone you love. I think for family members, that will not come easy, if at all.

Alexa • 13 days ago
The forgiveness Pierce speaks of is not about forgetting or condoning the actions of Holmes. It's about letting go of the anger, hatred, and vengeful thinking that can consume us and cause us to be like the person who caused those feelings in the first place. It can be very destructive. Pierce is experiencing the peace of God - which "transcends all understanding".
(Philippians 4:7)

Find another article "Colorado Shooting Survivor Forgives Alleged Gunman" also with many comments (559 last I looked!) GO here


CN said...

Colorado Sikhs Hold Vigil For Shooting Victims

Hundreds Attend Interfaith Ceremony
Jaclyn Allen, 7NEWS Reporter

POSTED: 10:23 pm MDT August 8, 2012
UPDATED: 2:10 am MDT August 9, 2012

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- Hundreds of people of all faiths attended an interfaith prayer vigil at the Colorado Singh Sabha in honor of the Wisconsin shooting victims.
"No American wakes up on Sunday and goes to their place of worship expecting to be attacked and killed," said one speaker.
Cathy Cutrell, of Englewood, said she had heard about the vigil from a member of her church and wanted to show her support, as a Christian. "I just wanted to show that we care so much and that their loss is on our hearts just as if it’s someone in our family, too," said Cutrell.

Members of the Sikh faith offered prayers for the victim, but also a prayer of forgiveness for the shooter."We ask for your forgiveness for this man," one speaker prayed. "He did far more damage to himself than anyone else because we know that these people are taken care of by you, Lord."

Commerce City Mayor Sean Ford attended the vigil, he said, because many members of the Sikh temple are his friends and neighbors. "I would like to make sure that the rest of the country knows that these are the people you want to live next door to you," he said. "They are hardworking. Many are business owners. They are active in the community."

CN said...

A beautifully written, heartfelt article by one of our great peacemakers!

Anonymous said...

There is another man who forgive like Pierce O'Farrill: Donnie ("never" Donald) Wm. Nichols. Nichols forgave the gunman and he is a deacon. The man who gave his life saving others in the temple was Satwant Singh Kaleka, a man from India.

CN said...

THANX so much for letting us know! I will try to post on him very soon.

Keep posting your comments and send us suggestions.

In our Common Humanity and for the honor of our One God...

Anonymous said...

There is another person who forgave like Pierce O'Farrill: Emmy Award Winner, Amardeep Singh Kaleka. Amardeep forgave the gunman (Wade Michael Page) who killed his father, Satwant Singh (Satwant is a hero and a legend). The gunman blew his brains out and that was selfish. So at least it saved taxpayers a lot of money for a trial! No arrest, no trial, no judge, no jury, no jail, no prison, no sentence, no nothing. It is up to God to judge Wade Michael Page. What caused Wade Michael Page to kill them, we will never know and it will remain that way until the end of the world.