Forgiveness is often a benign and disconnected concept — this ever-present idea that we are commanded to let go of the negative comments and actions others have made or taken against us.
In theory, it seems relatively easy, but then there are those heart-wrenching moments in which life unfolds in such a way that the concept morphs into a difficult reality — a seemingly insurmountable one. Still, at times, we see examples of people somehow able to astoundingly push past their immense grief to openly forgive those who have substantially hurt them.
Case in point: A pastor who recently decided to embrace the man who allegedly fatally ran over his son just 24 hours after the little boy died from his injuries. As it turns out, the preacher and his family reportedly decided to almost immediately offer the man their forgiveness.
A series of heartbreaking photos show Pastor Karl Sisson hugging 24-year-old Adrian Murray, who reportedly accidentally hit Sisson’s 9-year-old son Josiah with his car on Christmas day while the little boy was admiring holiday lights.
According to the Guardian, Josiah died just two days after sustaining injuries during the accident, which unfolded in Springwood, Australia, near the city of Brisbane. Murray has since been charged with operating a vehicle that caused death while being impeded by an intoxicating substance, the outlet reported.
Despite feeling unimaginable pain over the ordeal, Sisson chose to embrace Murray during a church service this week, with photos of the two men hugging one another almost immediately going viral.
Another pastor named Peter Field, who has been described in media as a family friend, explained the emotional encounter in a series of interviews with the press.
“What happened was at the end of the service was that the driver along with his friends and some family turned around and saw the father of Josiah,” he told The Courier Mail. He collapsed into Karl’s arms and he [Josiah’s father] was brave enough and manly enough to catch him and treat him courteously. As you could imagine, it was a very emotional time for everyone there.”
Field also told the Guardian that the photos left him personally feeling challenged about how he would act on the forgiveness front if he were in the same position as Sisson.
“It’s very challenging personally when I see those [pictures], because it confronts me with whether I would be man enough and large-hearted enough to act with such mercy,” Field said. “I can say how ‘we should do this, and we should do that’, it’s another thing to actually do it.”
Josiah’s funeral is scheduled for Jan. 7, with Murray slated to head to court on Feb. 14.
Other Must-Read Stories: