"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you."
Lewis B. Smedes
I have been thinking a lot about both the Oliver and Collins families after the death of Khristian Oliver. Collins' son Joe Collins Jr. is quoted on KRTE.com as saying Oliver's final statement was "more self-healing for him than for us," Joe Collins Jr. Said shortly after the execution. "He didn't admit to much. He wanted us to feel better and have some closure. But it's kinda hard." He goes on. "There wasn't nothing difficult. I looked at him. I didn't see any real remorse in his eyes. It was very easy to stand there," said Collins Jr.
This is a man who has held onto a lot of anger and hurt for eleven years. Do you think his father would have wanted him to live his life this way? I hope not. What he failed to realize is that Khristian's death was not going to erase that pain he was feeling. Watching a man die in the hopes that it will dissolve years of sorrow is hoping for, well--a miracle. Khristian or any other man who is being executed is scared, not to mention strapped to a gurney with a microphone lowered from the ceiling to his mouth. It's hard to look remorseful under such circumstances. Perhaps Mr. Collins should have spoken with Khristian while he was still alive--given him the chance to express his remorse. There is no finding it in a brief statement at such a stressful moment for all involved.
I don't mean to sound disrespectful of the Collins family. I can't even imagine that hurt that they have experienced. I hope that they can finally find peace.
As far as Khristian's family, they too are grieving for their son. It is my sincere hope that they have support and kindness through their grieving process. Most of the articles about their son have postings by anonymous people who spew vengeful, ugly words. This makes me sad. People hiding behind the anonymity of the internet to express their hatred.
Maybe if we all tried to treat others as we wanted to be treated and forgave those who have wronged us, the world would be a kinder, gentler place. I can at least hope for that and try to live it in my own life.