By Laurie A. Coombs
Kregel Publications, 2450 Oak Industrial Dr. N. E., Grand Rapids, MI 49505
978-0825442292, $14.99, 2015, 230 pages
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake
From Vengeance to Forgiveness – A Search for Truth, Justice, and Understanding,
Laurie Coombs’ ‘memoir “Letters from My Father’s Murderer – A Journey in Forgiveness” opens with the details leading up to and the aftershock of the tragic death of her father, a murder victim.
Devastated, but determined. Laurie went on with her life; finished her college education, married her fiancé, Travis, and began a family. On the surface things looked well, however, Laurie was experiencing a paralyzing anxiety and depression. Laurie walked away from her family’s church as a teenager, her skepticism left her broken and angry. As the hatred of her father’s murderer heightened she became obsessed with questions of justice and a spirit of bitterness.
Responding to a friend’s invitation, Laurie, Travis, and her girls visited a nearby church. Although still skeptical, Laurie returned to the church week after week. She experienced a deepened awareness of the possibility of healing from her emotional and mental symptoms through faith. Jesus offered peace and forgiveness. Her hunger for truth led to her redemption, personal peace and a heartfelt passion to share her story.
Laurie’s journey of forgiveness led to a definite step of obedience to connect with the murderer of her father. Her process of forgiveness and healing led to corresponding with Anthony, her father’s murderer. These letters are recounted in the story of God’s working in their lives through the process of forgiveness, redemption, and reconciliation.
Coombs’ writing is articulate, well organized, and authentic. I came away with a deeper awareness of the emotions felt by the survivors and the bitterness evidenced in victims who have lost loved ones due to tragic circumstances. “Letters from My Father’s Murderer” is timely and relevant with an important message for the families who are grieving in response to the tragedy of crime, accidents brought about by others, and those losing loved ones while in the service of our country.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.