“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32)
A pastor named Darrin Ray forgave a $2.5 million debt of the drunk driver who hit him, resulting in the amputation of his right leg.
He was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, and his childhood was very hard. He was bullied and his self-esteem was low. He spent a lot of time in hospital beds, going through corrective surgeries. Ray received the ultimate blow when a drunk driver struck his vehicle in 2006. Ray had to again undergo surgeries and had an idea, “I wanted him to suffer like he made me suffer like he made my family suffer.”
The drunk driver hit Ray and his daughter as they were driving to church in August 2006. The drunk man drove his car across the centerline, striking them head-on at 60 mph. Ray’s daughter, escaped with just scratches, but Ray was trapped in the car with numerous broken bones, intense bleeding, and burns from the car’s dripping battery acid.
Paramedics arrived and were barely able to extract him from the car. He was immediately rushed to the hospital, where he remained for weeks and eventually lost his right leg.
Change of Heart
Ray is now a pastor for senior adults and the disabled and spoke in an “I Am Second” interview that the change in him happened when he saw the driver in the courtroom. He turned away from his anger and bitterness. He said it “softened my heart,” the judge was surprised when he asked him to forgive the outstanding debt against the driver.
“The judge looked at me and said, ‘Why do you want to forgive this man that debt?’” he said. “And I looked at that judge, and I told him, ‘Because I have a savior that forgave me. He paid my debts that I could never repay.”
What he received instead, the pastor said, is much better. “When I forgave that man,” said Ray, “I was instantly freed from bitterness and anger. When you truly think about how much Christ has forgiven you, it helps you to forgive others who have wronged you. Now, I’m able to walk in freedom and wholeness.”
Pastor Darrin Ray chose to forgive the driver and show him the love of Christ in the most remarkable way.