Rev. Eileen Harris looked into the eyes of the man who brutally killed her daughter and husband and talked to him of God's forgiveness during a court hearing Tuesday at which the former housecleaner was sentenced to life in prison.Harris, a petite woman dressed in a black suit, had just finished describing the pain and longing she has endured since her loved ones' murders when she leaned toward Russell Sedelmaier, who stood with head bowed.
"Russell," she said, calling his name twice before Sedelmaier looked at her. "Because I value the gift of life and I know God forgives and loves all of us, especially you, Russell," Harris continued, smiling just slightly, "I support a sentence of natural life."
"Thank you," Sedelmaier said quietly. He later said, "I'm sorry what I did to the Harris family and what I did to my own family. I'm really sorry."
"I really felt in my heart forgiveness," Harris said of her comment to Sedelmaier. "I really know that if God can forgive him, why not me? That's where I am in terms of my faith and my understanding of life." (Chicago Tribune)
Would I be able to do the same as Harris? I just don't know if I would or not - I would like to think so, but I just don't know. I've always thought, though, that we are most like God when we have the grace to forgive.