Forgiveness Brings Healing To Victim of Accident
David Johnson, Citizen Journalist Louie Barrios was a 15-year-old boy when his father was killed by a drunk driver in 1975. The factors were many: misty weather, slick streets, a highway in need of repaving, a speeding vehicle, and alcohol.
JANUARY 01, 2009
For years, Louie says he didn't know who to blame. The state for not repairing the highway? The driver for hitting his father? Or God for allowing the accident to happen?
“I was angry, I was inconsolable, I wanted revenge,” Louie said. “I was haunted by a person I never knew.” And so Louie turned to alcohol and drugs. Louie numbed himself with beer and anesthetized himself with cocaine.
In time he got a college degree, but couldn't hold a relationship. He took over the family restaurant, but drug abuse pulled him to the edge. “I knew if I didn't get help,” he said, “my life would be a tragedy.”
Finally Louie dropped that fist and bowed a knee. He can tell you the date: April 14, 1990. Louie let go of his rage that day and began a spiritual journey.
That journey led him down a very different road that prepared him for another tragedy - the murder of his mother. It was a terrible crime - an arrow to the head, her house set on fire, her credit cards and Mercedes stolen. However this time, Louie's response was very different: Louie embraced the parents of the accused at his mother's funeral. He wept with them. He prayed for them. He even offered to help pay for the boy's legal defense.
Friends of Louie marvelled at his spirit. They said it was a miracle. They said that Louie didn't preach, instead he lived a Sunday sermon, one tear at a time. Louie says the miracle isn't that he forgave. It's that he didn't shake his fist at God. Like he did at age 15.
More information on this story available at: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/columnists/ken_rodriguez/Forgiveness_replaced_anger_when_tragedy_returned_years_later.html