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'Think of What the Lord Said on the Cross': Charlottesville Victim's Father Forgives Killer

08-16-2017
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As the national divide seems to grow wider and wider after the violence in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend, one of the people who's suffered the most is modeling Christ's message of forgiveness and reconciliation.

The father of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer told local news media that he forgives the man who is charged in the killing his daughter.

Ms. Heyer died when a man drove his car into a crowd of people who were protesting against the white supremacist groups who rallied in the city.

"People need to stop hating and they need to forgive each other. I include myself in that in forgiving the guy that did this. He don't know no better. I just think of what the Lord said on the cross. 'Lord forgive them. They don't know what they're doing,'" Mark Heyer said.

Heyer, who lives in Florida, said he learned the news when Heather's mother called him.

"Through tears and from the hospital, she said, 'Our daughter's gone,' and I kind of lost it, I kind of freaked out," he told WESH news.

He said he hopes his daughter's death will encourage others to try to make a difference in the world.

"Everybody has a circle of influence, no matter how small it is. Affect those people around you positively. Give them a cup of coffee, buy them a sandwich, tell them a joke, give them a smile, bring them joy into their life. You don't have to do the masses, do the people you deal with," he said.

Many Christian leaders this week have called for a full condemnation of white supremacists with no exceptions. They're also calling for the church to lead the way in a country that needs reconciliation and healing perhaps more than ever.

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