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FORGIVING FLOWERS

Fifteen years ago in Houston, a man named Ron Flowers accidentally shot school teacher Deirdra Washington through a car window during the course of a failed drug deal and was sent to prison for 35 years. Her family was consumed, destroyed by grief and anger. For 14 years Flowers continued to deny his guilt, and Dierdra’s mother Arna wrote vehement letters to Flowers' parole board each time his name came up for release. A few years ago, during a small-group session led by Prison Fellowship, Flowers confessed his crime and prayed that the family would forgive him. That same week, Arna Washington heard Deirdra's voice "say it was time to forgive and pray, that he [Flowers] was a brother in Christ, and that it was time to let go." She dropped her objections to his release; they met, talked, and became friends.

[Religion News, 2/99]

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