Monday, February 23, 2009

"I hired two criminals to take care of a problem"

Her son - in - law Tim was the problem

"How could I possibly forgive my son - in - law?"

Adapted from the Catholic magazine, The Word Among Us, Lent 2009.

By Ida Mae Kempel. My Journey to Hell and Back. Plus, we're told: For a fuller version of this story, see

"As hatred ravaged my soul, one goal alone energized me: Find Mary Jo's body so that Tim can be arrested.

"Finally, while I moaned in despair, someone suggested hiring hit men to kidnap Tim and torture him until he talked

"The two thugs described how they would break every bone in Tim's body and warned me that he might nor survive.

"I said, That's o.k. If he doesn't confess he shouldn't be allowed to live.

"Providentially, my mother learned of my plans and insisted I call them off, urging me, Have faith in God! If he wants us to find Mary Jo, we will!

"I did -- but only because she was so upset I feared she might have a heart attack

"My response was: God? He couldn't care less what happens to us.
"Nearly two years went by before Tim was arrested.

"The night before the jury was to deliver its verdict, I was awakened by a phone call from the police asking me to go to the jail.

"Tim had cut his wrists and tried to hang himself, but he refused to go to the hospital until he had spoken to me.

"As I sat down next to him, he took his from from his face and looked at me.

"He said, If it's any consolation to you - she went quickly. She didn't suffer.

"These words hit me like a hail of bullets.

"The reality of my daughter's death fell upon me full force, and I felt as if I were falling into the gaping jaws of hell."

I knew that only God could save me

"In that moment, I knew in the deepest part of my being that only God could save me.

"I closed my eyes and silently cried out, Help me, God! Please help me!

"Words just can't describe what happened next.

"When I opened my eyes again,
I saw a whole new world.

"The cell was filled with the presence of God.

"I knew he was there!

"And suddenly I knew that he had been with me all along, even when I was ranting and raving against him.

"God had never left me -- not for one moment, not even when I left him.

"There in that grim holding cell, he poured out his love so powerfully that all my anger and bitterness were wiped out.

"I looked down at Tim and saw that he was shivering, You're cold! Let me call the guard and get you a blanket!

"[H]e said. You must hate me.

"[She responded] No, Tim, I don't hate you.

"And it was true.

"My hatred was gone, totally dissipated"

...a peace that defied description

"All I felt was deep compassion and a peace that defied description.

"I walked out of that cell a different person.

"I didn't know exactly what had happened to me, but I knew that life would never be the same again.

"Truly, Whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)"

Warning: This is an adaptation from the original!


Post a Comment

<< Home