Forgiveness for the suspected shooter in the Dark Knight Rises massacre last week seems a far off concept, but one of the victims, still healing from injuries sustained in the bloodbath, is past the anger stage of his recovery.
Perhaps shooter forgiveness is something most people couldn’t find it in their hearts to consider, which is totally understandable. After all, James Holmes is believed to be the man who gunned down 12 innocent theater patrons in cold blood, and is thought to be responsible for injuring scores more both during the assault and in the ensuing melee.
But forgiving the shooter is something one of the men injured quite badly during the Dark Knight Massacre has already managed to do — and shooting victim Pierce O’Farrill says he feels badly for the man who tried to kill him and dozens of others during the July 20th rampage.
O’Farrill is a member of The Edge Baptist Church, and he feels that Christ’s teachings have influenced his view of the man at the center of the horrible tragedy. O’Farrill says that his faith has enabled him to let go of anger and hatred after he was wounded in the shooting:
“There is an enemy, but the wonderful news is there is a Light, and there is a Light that shines brighter than the darkness ever imaginable.”
O’Farrill says that whatever torment prompted James Holmes to plan the attack and carry it out is far worse than what the victim himself has endured:
“This is going to be hard for people to understand, but I feel sorry for him… When I think what that soul must be like to have that much hatred and that much anger in his heart—what every day must be like. I can’t imagine getting out of bed every morning and having that much anger and hatred for people that he undoubtedly has. I’m not angry at him. I’ll pray for him.”
O’Farrill’s pastor Ryan Heller says that shooter forgiveness is in line with Christian teachings, and that Jesus’ words reflect as much:
“Some of the other survivors have said that they can’t or won’t forgive [the shooter]. Reporters are contrasting him against other survivors, so it is important to understand what Jesus says about forgiving.”
Although O’Farrill has forgiven the shooter for the attack, shrapnel is still lodged in his chest, and he is still recovering from injuries to his lower leg and foot.