Where peace begins

Riverwalk attack victim answers hate with boundless love

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The metaphorical falling safe, as we all know, does not distinguish between good and bad people below. It simply falls. Perhaps this is why bad things sometimes happen to good people.

But in this case, the safe seemed to go out of its way to land on some very good folks.

The victims in the now infamous Riverwalk bat attack – in which a couple from South Carolina on their first date were beaten in the head with a metal bat by two robbers May 3 on Augusta’s big tourist draw – are Wesley Spires, 27, a landscape worker and volunteer fighter, and Ashley Solesbee, 25, who teaches autistic children and dance.

And who already has forgiven her assailants.

“I never for one second felt anger or any ill will toward them,” she told The Chronicle this week, not long after being released from the hospital, where Spires was in an induced coma.

In fact, whereas most victims of a vicious attack would want a pound of flesh, Solesbee certainly wants justice done – but said she wanted the attackers to turn themselves in primarily so they could turn to God that much more quickly.

“I know they need the love of Jesus right now,” she said.

They need only ask Solesbee where to find it. She is quite obviously overflowing with it.

While the nation’s manic and superficial attention skips from terror attack to murder trial to kidnapping horror, what a shame if we were to overlook the divine grace, mercy, love and forgiveness on display right here – in the form of a 25-year-old woman who just survived a horrific crime and quickly seeks her attackers’ redemption.

Some wonder if the assault was a hate crime. We don’t know. Regardless, it is being returned by love.

If that doesn’t illuminate the dark hearts of the perpetrators, let it at least shine a light on the rest of us.

Peace truly does begin with you. And it can do so at the most unlikely time.

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Riverman1 05/11/13 - 05:01 am
Amazing Forgiveness

She did display an amazing forgiveness that is an example to all. She has had a wonderful effect on the entire community that will surely make those who think about hurting people pause. We will hear great things from this young lady in the years to come. Let’s also hope her friend recovers from his injuries.

soapy_725 05/11/13 - 07:21 am
Certain people cannot be victims of hate crimes.

Fact. Only our totalitarian state can bestow hate crime status. As they also bestow "villain status" to those who do not follow political correctness.

agustinian 05/11/13 - 07:53 am
As Teddy Roosevelt once said

Walk softly (as in peace), but carry a big stick -- and implied in that, be prepared to use it.

historylover 05/11/13 - 09:09 am

How nice to read such a refreshing editorial with a very positive message. Thank you AC.

t3bledsoe 05/11/13 - 10:32 am
GREAT editorial !

What else cna one say about this situation, but this woman has a LOT MORE FORGIVENESS in her heart than I do !!

freeradical 05/11/13 - 10:47 am
Meanwhile back at the ranch ,

Meanwhile back at the ranch , my prayer was for the safety of anyone

else who happened to cross paths with these baseball bat wielding , no

doubt pistol - packing , angels of hell in the meantime .

Especially the law enforcement officers charged with taking them down.

Once that has been accomplished I'll turn my prayers to them .

Yes the bible teaches us to be forgiving .

It also teaches us to be wise as serpents in this world , and use the

faculties God gave us.

The bible teaches that there is a point at which the human heart

becomes so depraved & hardened that God will literally give them

over to a reprobate mind , and will withdraw the beckoning nail pierced

hand of His Son for good .

Is smashing the heads of defenseless men & women with

baseball bat the point at which that happens .

I don't know .

Only God knows .

But I feel confident in saying it is close .

Darby 05/11/13 - 10:22 pm
She can forgive. She's not the one with life

threatening brain injuries who may never recover....

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