Aurora Shooting Victim Forgives James Holmes
By Zsa Zsa Palagyi
The 700 Club
CBN.com- Moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado just wanted to get the first glimpse they could of the 3rd Batman Movie, “The Dark Knight Rises.” But when 24-year-old James Holmes charged in the exit door with a shotgun, a semi-automatic rifle, and 2 .40 caliber semi automatic pistols, what should have been an entertaining night at the movies became a real-life horror.
The tragedy early Friday morning, July 20 left 12 dead and 58 wounded. With his bright orange hair, James Holmes has become a household name. His charge: 24 counts of murder—2 counts for each person he shot and killed, 116 counts of attempted murder, one count of possession of explosives, and another for the crime of violence.
There are still a lot of questions about what happened, especially in Aurora. There’s so much grief. You can just feel the pain and even an unspoken anger. People are having a hard time processing a massacre in their own backyard, and some aren’t even able to talk about it yet. But there is one man who’s taking every opportunity he can –and he’s not pointing fingers, he’s offering forgiveness.
“The first day I can, literally the first day I can go see him, I want to meet him and the very first thing I want to say is James, I forgive you,” says Pierce O’Farrill to a congregation at ‘The Edge’ Church in Aurora.
28 year old Pierce O’Farrill was in Theater 9 with is friend Kerrie during the “The Dark Knight Rises” rampage. He was shot three times, by every type of weapon James Holmes had.
Zsa Zsa: “Tell me about that evil feeling, like the feet of death that you felt by you.”
Pierce: “I mean it’s very real. It’s just an evil and a darkness that you can feel. You could feel that hatred, just that hatred towards humanity.”
Zsa Zsa: “When you see the pictures of him, the pictures that came out from the court, what went through your mind?”
Pierce: “Honestly when I first saw him, I saw just that dazed and that confused and that hollow look, and I immediately just felt sorrow for him.”
Pierce’s compassion comes from his own experience with depression and darkness.
Pierce: “I do know what if feels like when the darkness swallows you and to know what it’s like to know that there’s no hope in this world. I mean I went through a period that was the truth of my life, that’s what I knew. My mom was bi-polar, so I saw the darkness affect her throughout my life, and that same demon followed me. There were times in my life when I would literally just lay in my bed with the shades drawn and just think of death and think of ways I could end my life so I wouldn’t have to be here and suffer this pain anymore. When I found Jesus, then the darkness slowly and surely started to go away, you know.”
He says it’s his close relationship with Jesus that gave him insight into what was spiritually going on the night of the movie theater shooting.
Pierce: “What I experienced in that movie theater, when I experienced the light come in, the darkness very much ran, I mean there’s no doubt that God came in. And we know that satan can’t stand up to God. And satan ran and he fled and he left James Holmes, and James now is just an empty, hollow, shell of a soul that’s been torchered for all these years. And this whole build up, I mean satan’s plan was very much to kill as many people as possible, and he left James. And now satan’s plans is for as many people as possible to hate him, to bring that hatred and that anger to the world, but God’s light is shining through all of this. And that’s why I pray for forgiveness. I pray for those families to forgive because that is part of God’s plan, for them to be comforted by just that freedom that comes from forgiveness.”
Zsa Zsa: “I’m a Christian Pierce, and I had a hard time forgiving James Holmes right when the story broke. And I’m just amazed at how you were able to forgive so fast. How were you able to do that?”
Pierce: “Jesus is part of me and He’s in me, and I’m just blessed. I mean I’m blessed to not even feel that anger and that hatred. I mean the Lord has been preparing me for so long for this. And His gift to me for being a faithful and humble servant was to not even allow that darkness to even get within earshot of my heart.”
Zsa Zsa: Nothing?
Pierce: “Nothing. The forgiveness doesn’t come from me, it comes from Jesus. And so for those people, if you’re struggling that badly, it means there’s some disconnect between your heart and Christ. There’s some wall that’s been put there by yourself, I mean you’re the one who put the wall up. So I would say if you are struggling with that, that it’s time to reach out even harder, reach with all your heart to Jesus. Dive into your scripture, read the gospel, meditate on it, pray on it. And reach for Jesus. Beg Jesus to just come into your heart and show you what it feels like to forgive.”
Zsa Zsa: “But that doesn’t just mean that you forgive and forget, right?”
Pierce: “Of course I believe that he deserves punishment for this. And what does that look like for me?
I just pray that he gets a life term in prison. And that way he’s got another 50-60 years on this world to turn to God. And if he would let me, I’d grab hold of his hand, I’d squeeze it, and I’d pray for him.”
At the end of our interview, Pierce in fact prayed for James, “Lord, I would just ask that in the midst of all the darkness, all the sorrow, all the hatred, all the anger that’s in James’ heart, Lord, I would ask you to reach in there and see him for who he is, another fallen soul, who needs your love, needs your guidance. I pray that you would just help him first find that remorse that he needs to find --the remorse for what he did, for the atrocious sins that he committed. And then Lord I would just, I ask you to do miraculous things and heal him. So that one day, one day, he actually gets to know you Lord, and I pray that the day comes that you will welcome him into your kingdom. We pray all of these things in the mighty and beautiful name of Jesus, Amen.”
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