06 Jul A story that will touch your heart
In his book The Art of Forgiveness Lovingkindness and Peace by author Jack Kornfield
He speaks about being on a train from Washington to Philadelphia sitting next to an African American man who had worked for the State Department in India who then quit to run the rehabilitation juvenile program for offenders in Washington DC.
Most of the people he worked with were gang members who had committed homicide
One 14-year-old boy in his program had shot and killed an innocent teenager to prove himself to his gang
At the trial the victim’s mother said impassively silent until the end when the youth was convicted of the killing
After the verdict was announced she stood up slowly and stare directly at the teenager who killed her son and said I’m going to kill you one day!!
The youth was taken away to serve several years in the juvenile facility because of his age
6 months later the mother of the slain child went to visit his killer
She learned he had been living on the streets before the killing and that she was the only visitor he had had during those 6 months.
For a time they talked, and when she left, she gave him some money for items he could purchase in the facility.
Then she started step-by-step to visit him more regularly bringing food and small gifts
Near the end of his three-year sentence she asked him what he would be doing when he got out
He looked confused and very uncertain and said he had no idea.
She offered to set him up with a job at a friend’s company and then she inquired about where he would live.
Since he had no family to return to, she offered him temporary use of the spare room in her home
For eight months he lived there, ate her food, and worked at the job
And then one evening they sat down to have a long discussion which began by her asking if he remembered that day in court she said that “one day she would kill him”
The teenager replied yes; I remember that day very well
The woman then responded … Well……. I did kill you
I did not want the boy who could kill my son for no reason to remain alive on this earth I wanted him to die
That’s why started to visit you and bring you things that’s why got you the job and let you live here in my house and that’s how I said about changing you
And that old boy.. He’s gone now.
In the end she adopted this boy and she became the mother of her son’s killer
The mother he never had