I opened the Washington Post yesterday morning to find a big story on Fred Goldman, father of Ron Goldman, the man murdered alongside Nicole Brown Simpson in 1994. He got the rights from OJ Simpson’s never-published book, If I Did It, wrote a new forward, a new prologue and a new afterword and has had it published.
The article portrays a man still seething over his son’s death:
Goldman has never let the most notorious murder case in modern American history, the O.J. Simpson trial, move “more than a centimeter from the surface of the brain,” and today he launches a bizarre offensive against Simpson, the man whom a civil court — and many Americans — consider to be someone who got away with murder.
“To let it go would be tantamount to saying, ‘It doesn’t matter anymore,’ ” Goldman says of his continued pursuit of O.J. Simpson.
“I made a promise to Ron,” Goldman says in a long, late-afternoon interview in his modest home, “that I would pursue this bastard. That we would never let this go.”
This morning, Paul sent me an article about a different group of people who lost children to murder:
An Amish community that lost five girls in a Pennsylvania schoolhouse shooting massacre last year has donated money to the widow of the gunman, the community said Wednesday.
The Nickel Mines Accountability Committee, which was set up to handle more than $4.3 million in donations from around the world after the shootings, said it had given an unspecified “contribution” to Marie Roberts, a mother of three….
In a statement released on behalf of the community, the committee said, “Many from Nickel Mines have pointed out that forgiveness is a journey, that you need help from your community of faith and from God … to make and hold on to a decision not to become a hostage to hostility.
“It is understood that hostility destroys community,” it said.
I can scarcely believe a group of people would do such a thing – even this group of people who have loved like Jesus from the moment this horror was inflicted upon them.
I hope, in the face of horror, that I would be like the Amish. But how easily I could see myself becoming much more like Mr. Goldman. The other day my 11-year-old told me that a friend of hers was followed home by a black SUV whose driver kept asking the girl if she wanted a ride.
As I listened I felt this seething rage – this indescribable ferociousness aimed towards anyone who would hurt my girl. I joked with her that if anyone ever touched her it would be the very worst day of their lives because I would find them and inflict upon them significant bodily harm.
The truth, however, is that it wasn’t a joke to me. I would. Forgiveness? Towards someone who hurt my child? You must be kidding. And so I sympathize with Fred Goldman.
But then there is Jesus…
Jesus lives with and in the Amish. There is no other explanation for their forgiveness and love. They are defined by Him. They live with a true faith. I am awed and humbled and staggered. And in our day and age where revenge and violence and war are glorified they are that still, small voice of God whispering that there is another way – his way and that “hostility destroys community.”