Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Letting It Go

On November 8, 1987, Gordon took his daughter, Marie, out to watch a parade. She wasn't a little girl anymore, but she was quite happy to have the day off from her nursing job and to spend some time with her Dad.

Then, a little after 10 a.m., the bomb exploded, blasting them to the ground. Gordon never let go of his daughter's hand, even when the building fell in on them and buried them in darkness.

Unable to move, they lay beneath the crushing weight of the rubble and spoke to one another, choking back dust and tears.

"She gripped my hand tightly," he remembered. "Gripped me as hard as she could. Then she said, 'Daddy, I love you very much.'"

When her grip relaxed a few seconds later, he knew she was gone. Five minutes later they pulled him and his daughter Marie out from under the debris. Marie never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Speaking to the BBC reporters just a few hours later, Gordon said, "I bear no ill will. I bear no grudge. Dirty sort of talk is not going to bring her back to life. She's in heaven and we shall meet again."

Then he added, "I will pray for these men tonight and every night."

According to historian Jonathan Bardon, "No words in more than twenty-five years of violence in Northern Ireland had such a powerful, emotional impact."

The Remembrance Day bombing, as it came to be known, killed 11 people and injured 64 when a single 40 pound bomb was detonated by the Provisional IRA during a Remembrance Sunday ceremony held to honor those who had served in the British Special Forces.

The BBC would later describe the bombing as a turning point in the ongoing struggle between the IRA and the British. Not because the bombing itself accomplished anything strategically for either side, but simply because the response of forgiveness by one 60 year old man “shook the IRA to its core".
Not only did Gordon Wilson publicly forgive those who had planted the bomb that killed his dear daughter, Marie, he said he would pray for them and that is exactly what he did for the rest of his life. He also begged that no-one took revenge for Marie's death and pleaded with others not to do so.

How could this man forgive those who took away his daughter so quickly? Because Gordon Wilson loved Jesus with all his heart. He had spent many years serving his community faithfully, simply, and quietly, as a follower of Christ.

After the bombing, Wilson went on to devote his life to the peace effort and even met face to face with the members of the very same terrorist organization that planted the bomb that day.

He believed in forgiveness and he trusted in the Prince of Peace. This made all the difference in the world.


1 comment:

Faith said...

Only a real supernatural force within could enable someone to act this way - Glory to God!