Forgiving amidst a tsunami of grief
by Frank King
Did you notice the Christian element that was present during the Humboldt Broncos sentencing hearing?
Just to recap, in late January, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu faced the families of the 16 people he killed when the semi-trailer he was driving in rural Saskatchewan plowed into a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos hockey team.
It was a gut-wrenching few days that seemed to rivet the nation. It certainly grabbed my attention, especially as I watched and read the victim impact statements.
Do you recall what Christina Haugen said? She lost her husband, Darcy (the Broncos head coach), in the crash. Here’s part of her statement:
“My husband was a Godly man and a man of faith. As I sat down to write this statement and I wrote out that sentence; all I could think of is that Darcy would have said that we are all here on earth undeserving of forgiveness and that it is only because God sent his son to die for our sins that we are here.
So while your actions on April 6 (2018) have impacted our entire family … I want to tell you that I forgive you. There are days when the unjustness and sadness and anger are definitely still there, but I have been forgiven for things when I didn’t deserve it and so I will do the same.”
I’m left simply gobsmacked at this. Christina’s faith in Christ was tested as few people will ever, ever be tested. Yet she clung to that faith and remembered Christ’s words, that “if you don’t forgive others, then your Father in heaven will not forgive the wrongs you do” (Mark 6:15).
Would I remember this? Is my trust in Christ true and deep enough to withstand a tsunami of grief?
Then there was the mother of victim, Jaxon Joseph. “You broke him, and for this I will never forgive you,” she said in her victi- impact statement.
While I absolutely understand this and acknowledge that she and Christina will share a lifetime of pain, I know something else: Jaxon’s mother has locked herself in a prison of anger and brokenness. What good will it do her? It won’t bring Jaxon back and it won’t take away her pain. Oh Lord. Let me truly learn from this, that your way is always better.
Frank King’s views are his own and do not reflect on his role as manager of media relations for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada and Samaritan’s Purse Canada.