Columbus Dispatch: Family of Victim Gave Killer Bible for Comfort

Unlike the family of the victim whom Matthew Cordle killed–who by all appearances have not been able to forgive Cordle–there will be closure for this family (if there isn’t already) because they have forgiven. This is what makes forgiveness so terribly costly. We do not forgive and forget. We forgive, by the grace of God, despite the terrible pain and damage inflicted on us. We must acknowledge our terrible hurt and loss and then choose to forgive despite what has been done to us. Apparently this family has done precisely that.

Only when we can forgive can we truly be free–free of the perpetrator having any more claim on us and free from the desire for anger and revenge that will surely destroy us if left unchecked. Good for all involved. May Mitts’ murder victims rest in peace and may the Lord bring his comfort, consolation, and healing to the victims’ families.

If Ohio executes Harry Mitts Jr. on Wednesday as scheduled, the condemned man will leave behind a tattered, worn Bible he received in 1994 from an unlikely source.

Mitts said his eyes filled with tears and he nearly collapsed when he learned that the Bible, inscribed with his name, was a gift from the mother and sister of Sgt. Dennis Glivar, the 44-year-old Garfield Heights police officer he had killed about three months earlier.

Though Mitts had not thought about religion for most of his life, the gift helped point him toward Christianity, said Jeff Kelleher, his attorney. “It affected him deeply.”

Mitts received the Bible through a jail chaplain on the day his death sentence was handed down in Cuyahoga County in 1994. He also received a letter from Glivar’s sister, Cheryl Janoviak, telling him that she and her mother had forgiven him.

“What my mom and I did was only a portion of what God desired to draw Mr. Mitts to the cross and the saving, redeeming, wonderful, cleansing grace that is available to all,” Janoviak, of Newbury in Geauga County, said last week.

Read it all.