A brave Tennessee man writes a heartbreaking letter to the two gentleman who were arrested for starting the fire and it has us all in tears.
We’ve all seen the destruction and terror that the wildfires in Gatlinburg have caused and it breaks our hearts. The worst part is that people not only lost everything that they had, but many people lost their families because of the fire.
One of those who did was a man by the name of Michael Reed. Reed lost his wife, Constance, along with his two daughters, Lily and Chloe because of the fire that ran through their town not giving them all enough time to get out.
Reed and his son, were the only two in their family who survived the flames and it hasn’t been easy. Although he lost everything except his own life and his sons life he still says that he will not be angry or hate the two teenagers who took away his wife and daughters lives.
The heartbroken father wrote a letter to the two teenagers who started the fires sharing that he has nothing but grace for them, and he hopes that they can come to forgive themselves after the tragedies they have caused.
“As humans, it is sometimes hard to show grace. We hold grudges. We stay angry. We point the finger and feel we have to lay the blame somewhere… But I did not raise my children to live with hate. I did not teach my girls or my son to point the finger at others.”
Reed went on to tell the two boys that he and his son pray for them everyday. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know that I would be able to walk with the strength that this man has walked in for himself and for his son.
It is absolutely devastating to lose one loved one, much less three loved ones in a fire that someone else started out of ignorance. Check out the full letter to the boys below, I can’t believe this…
To the 2 teenagers who started the wildfires…
People stop me on the streets everyday and ask me the same question:
“What can we do for you?”
My answer has been the same every time:
“Love those closest to you a little stronger. Hold them a little tighter. Don’t take a single moment for granted.”
As I learned of your arrests last week I sat in silence for a very long time. You may be too young to understand this, but even through this tragedy I can feel God with me and my son. I have felt my wife and daughters touch me from Heaven. I have seen them give me signs that they are looking down on us. They are happy. They are at peace. They are together.
As humans, it is sometimes hard to show grace. We hold grudges. We stay angry. We point the finger and feel we have to lay the blame somewhere. It’s human nature and completely understandable. But I did not raise my children to live with hate. I did not teach my girls or my son to point the finger at others. John 8:7 says “Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.”
Forgiveness isn’t for you. It is for me. It is for my son. It is for Constance, Chloe, and Lily. It is for this community who all lost so much in this tragedy.
I, as well as countless others, have been changed forever because of your actions. It is up to you to seek God’s forgiveness. I hope someday you can seek it and be at peace.
I forgive you. My son forgives you. My wife and beautiful girls forgive you. We know you didn’t mean for this to happen. We know you would take it all back if you could.
We will pray for you. Every day. We will pray for your parents and your family members. Every day. We will pray for your peace. We will show you grace. Why? Because that’s what Jesus would do.
The greatest of these is Love.
Watch the family tribute in the video below:
Please pray for this family….