In today's Arizona Republic, columnist Laurie Roberts covers a story about a little known murder victim named Mabel Lopez. The 69 year old Lopez was killed in 2000 by two men in their 20's she helped off of the streets. It seemed they didn't like her telling them that they could not to drink beer in her house. They proceeded to stab her 19 times.
Roberts notes that at the trial of one of the two men was asked what Lopez was saying as she lay dying. His response, "May God have mercy on your souls." Lopez's daughter goes on to say, "With her dying breath, she was praying for her murderers. She wasn't praying for her children; she wasn't praying to have her life saved. She was praying for her murderer's souls. That's a hell of a lesson."
I could not promise that is what I would be saying after to men stabbed me 19 times and left me to die on my back patio. She certainly took the lesson of Jesus to heart -- to forgive even when someone is not asking for forgiveness. Such grace is a rarity and when it is seen, it catches my attention.
It looks like the mercy requested by Lopez was granted to both of the men, as they were spared the death penalty and given life in prison. I pray that they use the opportunity to find forgiveness from the One after which Mabel Lopez modeled her life.