Though Thanksgiving Day will be filled with joy and happy memories for many, for others the holidays can remind them of loss and tragedy. Such is the case for the family of Amanda Blackburn, the young pastor’s wife murdered in her home two weeks ago.
Below is her father, Phil Byars, being interviewed by Indianapolis reporter Scott Swain. Though you can see the grief, pain, and struggle on his face and hear it in his words and voice, you also see and hear the real ministry of Jesus to him at this time. Listen especially to how he answers the question about how his family will spend Thanksgiving. Then take a little time to pray, call, invite over, or visit someone who may be struggling with pain today.
Also, for those who may be wondering how someone can forgive such things, here is a prayer from Martin Luther on the petition regarding forgiveness in the Lord’s Prayer. You can see in Mr. Byars that he is learning to pray just like this.
O dear Lord, God and Father, enter not into judgment against us because no man living is justified before thee. Do not count it against us as a sin that we are so unthankful for thine ineffable goodness, spiritual and physical, or that we stray into sin many times every day, more often than we can know or recognize, Psalm 19. Do not look upon how good or how wicked we have been but only upon the infinite compassion which thou hast bestowed upon us in Christ, thy dear Son. Grant forgiveness also to those who have harmed or wronged us, as we forgive them from our hearts. They inflict the greatest injury upon themselves by arousing thy anger in their actions toward us. We are not helped by their ruin; we would much rather that they be saved with us. Amen.”