In Northern Minneapolis, Laramiun Byrd’s Murderer Lives Right Next Door to Laramiun Byrd’s Mom. This Is Forgiveness.

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In northern Minneapolis, Mary Johnson sings alone in her apartment: “Thank you, Lord, for all you’ve done for me,” her voice rings out clear. On the other side of the apartment wall, Oshea Israel hears the singing and joins in her thankfulness. But Oshea isn’t just thanking God, he’s thanking Mary. See: seventeen years ago, Oshea was at the same party where Mary’s only son was shot to death. More than that, Oshea was the one who shot Laramiun Byrd. How did her son’s murderer end up living right next door to Mary Johnson? In a word: forgiveness.

Check out this powerful story of love, pain, forgiveness and faith as Mary and Oshea become neighbors and even friends.

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Michael Harrell is a former staff member and current volunteer at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Federal Way, Washington. A blogger by hobby and social media manager by trade, he continues to teach the faith to ninth graders when he's not busy watching movies or theatre. He loves the Seattle Mariners, and his wife wants you to know he's married. You can follow him on Twitter.