I received a comment on my blog today on a story I wrote awhile back “.” The story was about convicted murderer who took the life of Hudson Bay employee Ted Van Sluytman back in 1978 after a bungled robbery of an armored guard. Glen shot Ted in the shoulder while his accomplice shot the man in the back.
The comment I received was …
This man should be dead. Theo Van Sluytman was my uncle. A murderer cannot change. I’ll see you one day Glen! – blake rmpat
It pains me to read this comment but of course because each of us is entitled to our views and opinions I published it. I feel sad for the loss this man feels for his uncle. However I thought it only right to further post my own opinions on this as a follow up to the story I wrote because I do not agree.
People can change.
Holding in our resentment, pain, anger, guilt only leads to a stalemate on life for us. Forgiveness is essential in order for us to grow as human beings, and I am a firm believer that everyone YES EVERYONE is capable of change. And a show of this comes from the daughter of the man who was murdered, Margo Van Sluytman who spent years corresponding with Flett as the two of them discovered the journey of forgiveness together and essential found a peace in remembering the man whose life Glen Flett took.
In this powerful article written by Ken MacQueen for Maclean’s Magazine back in 2009, Margo wrote
“The man, Glen Flett, who murdered my Dad, wrote to me. And I chose to respond.”
This inspirational story proves that forgiveness is powerful. I urge the man who left the comment on my blog about his uncle to reconsider his words of anger and I urge him to follow the inspiration of Margo whose poetry and natural talent for writing has uplifted so many and her journey with Glen is a true testament to courage, heart and compassion.
Hate will get you nowhere.
Margo has gone on to write a book called “The Sawbonna Project” following the story of “Restorative Justice” that both she and Glen shared over the murder of her father. Writing helped changed her life, get past the demons of pain and she shares this journey with the rest of us.
Anyhow I couldn’t let the comment lie without sharing what I knew about Glen, how he has tried to make a difference after dealing with taking another man’s life, and how his victims (the family) have suffered and forgiven. Maybe not all of them as is clearly the case with gentleman who left his painful comment of hate on my blog.
But maybe one day he can… forgive
I hope he can.
I pray he can.
For his sake.