In 1993 a bomb was detonated in the main street of Warrington Town Centre killing 3 year old Jonathan Ball and 12 year old Tim Parry, bombs planted the day before Mothers’ Day when the town would be filled with shoppers.
The impact of that horrendous act of violence was to see two families devastated by the tragedy and the community in Warrington outraged by the severity of the damage done to two young lives.
Wilf Ball Jonathan's father, in an interview in 2003, tells how he is still grieving a decade on. He says, "It's hard not to be bitter. They took something away that you were living for."
"Sometimes I get a good day, sometimes I get a bad day."
In 2013, Colin Parry said: “I haven’t forgiven the IRA for killing Tim, nor has anybody in my family and we never will”.
But, despite the pain that both families continued to carry, Colin & Wendy Parry, with the support of the Ball family, founded the Tim Parry Jonathan Ball Foundation for Peace to work with vulnerable children, young people and adults affected by violence and cruelty in all its forms.
It is hard to forgive and turn the other cheek, but, from the horrors of violent child death, goodness can still grow and have its impact on a World that creates cruelty.
In trying to respond to to-day’s Gospel call, we need to work to keep some room in our lives to allow God to do the healing wherever people are hurt.
Just a thought!