Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Forgiveness After Murder

What do you do when God seems to be absolutely silent, almost absent, in the face of pain you know could break you in half? I find it helpful, comforting and reassuring when I meet someone who's found their way through unbearable pain and come out the other side in one piece. That's certainly the case with Cindy Winters, the widow of Pastor Fred Winters, who was murdered while preaching at First Baptist Church of Maryville in Illinois, his church for 22 years, on March 7, 2009. Pastor Winters was preaching the early service, Bible in hand, when a man walked down the aisle and started shooting. The Bible turned to confetti as the bullets killed the pastor, much to the congregation’s horror. The murderer, mission accomplished, was apprehended. But another, far greater, mission was accomplished that day, because of faith, that didn’t crumble. Cindy shares with us on Woman to Woman® how God eases her recovery from personal tragedy to trust Him, forgive the murderer and serve the Lord with gladness.

I know, it almost sounds too good to be true. But when you hear it from the wounded widow herself, you can feel the truth as she speaks. We read again and again in the Bible how God's strength is made perfect in our weakness, but to this extent? Here's a true account of God’s Power and Mercy to the powerless. This is about tragedy and triumph, forgiving the unforgivable, personal victory after huge personal loss.

Please take time to feed your soul through this visit with Cindy Winters. You will benefit from her powerful understanding of how God comes to us personally in crisis. Such a mystery and miracle are not for Cindy Winters alone. We know this from Bible verses like Isaiah 43:2-3, 5 - "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…Do not be afraid, for I am with you."

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