As I write this note to you, my mind is drawn to the horrible shooting that occurred a few weeks ago in an Aurora theatre. By now, I’m sure you are aware of what took place, and if you are like me, have struggled to understand how something like this could happen.
What you may not be aware of is that one of those who was in the theatre and was shot is an employee of the Denver Rescue Mission. Pierce O’Farrill (age 28) is our Vehicle Donation Coordinator, and praise God, he is going to be all right after being wounded in the foot and the arm. At this time he is still recovering, but we anticipate his return to work sometime soon.
If his survival was not remarkable enough, what has been incredible is his upbeat attitude and indomitable spirit. I went to the hospital shortly after the shooting to encourage Pierce, but it is I who was uplifted and blessed by having spoken with him. Apparently, he has been an encouragement to many, as he has now given over 100 interviews!
The thing that is most moving beyond his story of survival, is his insistence on forgiving the man who shot him. He bears no ill will, but in Christ-like fashion extends his grace to the shooter for the damage he has done. I can only hope that if placed in similar circumstances I could offer this same forgiveness.
Pierce, at his young age, is my hero. His example of forgiveness is one we should all emulate in both the small things of life, as well as in the life-changing events. Psalm 130:3 reminds us that forgiveness is God’s habit; apparently, it is Pierce’s habit as well. May we all do a better job of offering our forgiveness when it is most needed.
Our thoughts and prayers continue for those families who lost loved ones, and for any victims who were not as fortunate as Pierce.