Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Friday, August 19, 2005  

Is this wise?

In an incredible act of forgiveness, the Long Island woman whose face was shattered when a 20-pound turkey was thrown through her windshield came face-to-face yesterday with the prankster who did it — and hugged him tightly as they both broke down in sobs.

Minutes earlier, Ryan Cushing, 18, had pleaded guilty to the Nov. 13 nightmare stunt that left Victoria Ruvolo, 44, critically injured. His plea was part of a deal that the big-hearted Ruvolo engineered, sparing the teen a possible 25 years in prison and instead landing the boy only six months in a local jail.

As the lanky teen started to leave the court- room, he hesitantly stepped toward Ruvolo, who was sitting in the second row, and tearfully apologized.

"I'm so sorry for what I did to you," he whispered, weeping. "I'm so happy you're doing well."

His emotional mea culpa prompted Ruvolo to get to her feet and wrap her arms around him, softly assuring him, "It's OK. It's OK."

The two then sobbed, shaking in one another's arms for several minutes, with Ruvolo urging the remorseful teen, "Please just keep on a good path." (via Amy Welborn)

I doubt very much if I would have been this forgiving. I would have to have a much better understanding and trust in the remorse and sympathy that the young criminal might have for me before I could begin to extend very much compassion towards him.

But this woman's decision is a true act of faith. It frees her while it redeems him. Even if the young man should turn out badly, it will not be because of mercy, but from rejection of grace. A rejection Ms. Ruvulo need keep no account of. It is not her's to reckon with. It is God's.

There are crimes, of course, which individuals may forgive but which we, as a society, must punish in the extreme for the safety of others.

This would be a good case to follow up in five or ten years to see how the man turns out. Ms. Ruvulo's absolution never will need to be regretted in this case.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 12:19 PM |