Sister Christian

One sister is missing a thumb and has pins holding her vertebrae together.

Another suffered brain damage, coupled with hearing and memory loss.

A third was killed.

All of this occurred in August 2010, when a drunk driver slammed into the car in which these three women were riding. The incident made national headlines because the driver was an illegal immigrant with two prior drunk-driving convictions and a scheduled deportation hearing.

The women, members of the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia, did not like how the case was politicized or the condemnation of the young man, who was recently sentenced to 20 years in prison for the crash.

The two surviving sisters believe the man should face the consequences for his actions, but even in the midst of terrible grief and loss, they have chosen to focus on forgiveness, not punishment, for what they see as a terrible accident.

As one nun put it: “But for the grace of God, I could be an alcoholic, and it could have been me behind that wheel.”

Originally published on the 490 Words blog February 4, 2012

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