One, never to be forgotten, day in December 2011 Patricia’s husband, Gerrard, who was 77, went to buy his morning paper. Gerrard, a retired accountant, and Patricia had been married for 13 “incredibly happy years.” That morning Gerrard did not come home and Patricia went to look for him. She discovered that he had been knocked down by a car driven by a young man named Brian. Patricia arrived in time to see the aftermath of the accident. She said, “I ran up the road and saw a pool of blood on the pavement, it was horrendous.” Gerrard was taken to hospital, but died from multiple injuries 2 months later.
When Patricia arrived at the accident scene, she saw Brian, who was “in bits” at the roadside. Despite her distress she managed to console him. She said, “It never occurred to me to blame him, I just thought ‘poor chap’. It was the worst day of my life and, no doubt, the worst day of Brian’s life as well.” Brian, a 30 year old aircraft engineer, said he had not seen Gerrard crossing the road because his vision was impaired by an oncoming vehicle. At a recent court hearing, however, he was found guilty of causing death by careless driving and received a 3-month suspended sentence.
Patricia, who is a Christian, attended the court hearing to support Brian and wrote a remarkable letter, which was shown to the judge. In it she wrote, “Dear Brian, Today is a very important day and I will be in court to support you. On the day of the accident, however bad it was for me, I realise it was 1,000 times worse for you. Neither Gerrard, if he was here, nor I feel any sense of condemnation towards you. Will you make me a promise that you will get on with your young life, knowing that you will always be supported by my prayers?” The judge said the letter was “extremely moving” and Brian’s barrister called it “truly astonishing.” As Brian left the court, sobbing, Patricia hugged him.
It is clear that Patricia’s experience of God love and forgiveness in Jesus has enabled her to respond in this remarkable way to this tragic situation. God’s love in Jesus is unique. There is no one else who loves us as he loves us. Experiencing the love of Jesus transforms us and makes us long that everyone around us might know his love as well.