Sunset Forgiveness

(Scott full of life!)

Today is February 4th. This date remains one of the most important redemptive days in our family’s life.

February 4, 1996, a Sunday, to be exact. Amy was away at Biola University, beginning the second semester of her freshman year. Scott, a sophomore at Immanuel High School in Reedley, was not having a good morning. He argued with his mom all the way to church. He was relentlessly unapologetic about wanting his own way on some issue – neither Bonnie nor I can remember the issue, but we do remember the argument well.

As we arrived at church, Bonnie stayed in the car with Scott, hoping to reach a point of reconciliation. It was to no avail. Scott was determined to remain angry and eventually left the car in a huff.

We remember how troubled we felt as we sat through church, knowing all the while the lack of unity in our family that morning. We went to the New Life class (I taught the class at the time) and again this burden for reconciliation weighed heavy on us.

Following the class, Scott came down stairs to meet me, as he often did at the end of our time at church. I reminded Scott how "vitally important" it was to make things right with his mother - today, now, immediately. Scott stated that he knew he was wrong and he would talk with her as soon as we left the building.

Scott did make things right. He apologized for his anger. He asked Bonnie to forgive him, and she did. We went on to have a great day together, fellowshipping with one another, enjoying laughs and talking about the plans we had for the coming week.

The next day, February 5th, at 11:26 am, God called Scott home. At 11:36 am - I was paged as I pulled off northbound Hwy 99, Floral Ave., Selma, California, 1996 in the year of our Lord. I called my office. My co-worker said, "Your son has been hurt in an accident." Time and space stood still that day. As the events unfolded, a horrifying dread came over me.

Scott was involved in a fatal accident in his woodshop class. Although he was placed on life support, he was declared brain dead on Tuesday, February 6th. We said goodbye, this side of eternity, to our precious son, Scott, at the age of 16 years old.

Why then, is February 4th, such an important redemptive day to our family? None of us knew it would be the last full day with Scott. None of us knew

This is for why - why we take care of today's conflict today. May your sunsets always include the vivid colors of forgiveness.