This is one of the most heartbreaking, tragic, and yet inspiringly beautiful stories I have ever heard.
What Mary Johnson has experienced is something no mother, no parent, should ever experience: the death of a child.
But it is in the face of that horrifying tragedy that Mary created a beacon of hope for herself and her community.
With one small act of forgiveness, an act that not a single person would dare ask of a grieving mother, she found a new son. Mary welcomed the man who murdered her son, Oshea Israel into her home and heart.
In 1993, Mary’s 20-year-old son got into a scuffle with 16-year-old Oshea Israel.
I can’t help but think of officer Imani Ruffins, who recently forgave her daughter’s killer just days after the incident.
Oshea killed Mary’s son and spent 17 years in prison paying the price for what he did as a teen.
Mary was furious; she believed Oshea was an “animal” and “deserved to be caged.” Years after the sentencing, she visited him in prison.
“I wanted to know if you were in the same mindset of what I remembered from court, where I wanted to go over and hurt you,” Johnson tells Israel. “But you were not that 16-year-old. You were a grown man. I shared with you about my son.”
Then she hugged him and in that moment everything changed. When Oshea was released from prison, Mary became a mother figure and mentor to Oshea.
She created an organization called From Death To Life, that allows the families of victims of violence to heal and reconcile.
See her unbelievable story below and SHARE if you believe Mary is a true inspiration.
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