Oh my goodness am I so embarrassed to tell you that I finished my first book of the year today. What a sad story. Here it is the end of March and only one book finished. I guess I just haven't had much time to read! Actually the truth is that this book was a story and I do much better with some characters than just a subject! Aaron says I don't read books that matter in life, but I beg to differ.
I try to read a book a month, so I have some catching up to do! I actually started this book yesterday and flew through it and finished the last 15 pages today while the kids were playing outside. The book is called MURDER BY FAMILY by Kent Whitaker, and it is a great book about forgiveness and allowing God to lead you through some terrible times all while trusting him and putting your faith and hope in Him alone.
The Whitaker's attending the same church as us for a while when we lived in Sugar Land and Aaron was friends with the family. The story is about the tragic event on Dec 10 where all four family members were shot while walking into their home and the mom and youngest son, Kevin, died while Kent and Bart were seriously injured. Later it would come out that the oldest son, Bart, had arranged the killings.
The story was interesting to me not only because I know this family and there were several events to the story that I was unclear about but also because of the love that this father has poured out upon his son. He has forgiven him and continues to stand by him and love him even though he has put him through the worst pain a husband and dad could imagine. In the last chapter he writes this:
Perhaps it is that we always have the power of choice: to trust or not to trust God and his Word. When storms come, we must choose to believe that our loving heavenly Father will weave even disasters into the tapestry of our lives in ways that will ultimately bless us and bring him glory. God honors this trust, just as he blessed my trust on the night of the shooting. As I wrestled with my doubts that night, I made the conscious decision to trust him even though I could not imagine how the murders could possibly work for good. I made that choice because his Word, the Bible, tells us he will do just that; and I wanted to believe it, even as I doubted. It took a real act of willpower to make myself trust God in those moments. But that's what he's waiting for: our choosing to trust even when it doesn't make sense.
Wow. This book not only tells the story of an unthinkable tragedy, it also weaves in glimpses of hope. The story of his forgiveness and love towards his son is powerful. I recommend this book and hope that you enjoy it and allow God to show you in your own heart who you need to love more, and forgive. I also pray that God uses this book in someones life to show them that in the midst of disaster he is there. He is always there.
hi. i am so glad to hear about this book. i knew it was being written. the moment i heard about this story i began writing bart in prison and we have been penpals. he also has a blog that really gives insight to his thoughts and the path of death row. i highly recommend it.
thanks for sharing.
I just watched this story on 48 Hours at CBS.com. Bless the dad!!
I bought that over spring break and read it quick too, I assumed you had read a long time ago. His forgiveness is amazing, huh? Makes me wonder how often I let God work through me like that!?!
Glad you posted this! Our family was so close to the Whitakers. Kevin and my brother played baseball together growing up. It was so awful and devastating. I know God has used Ken’s story and heart to bless….for the good!