In a Season of sorrow, Graham Dickason is a blinding light of grace


I don’t think we understand the full psychological impact of our lockdowns and the immense stresses those changes have generated in people who need certainty.

We know our domestic violence rates are spiking and there is an ocean of anecdotal examples suggesting people are at breaking point emotionally, that’s not an indictment on the lockdowns or attempting to point a finger of blame, it is the naked reality of what we’ve collectively experienced and the fall out from that.

How else to explain the sudden burst of violence from the obscene murder of Lena Zhang Harrap, the horrific murder of the Dickason children or the worrying question marks over Thomas Phillips & his 3 missing daughters.

To sexually assault and kill a Down Syndrome person in public, to murder ones own children or to disappear with them – the awfulness and pain from the deaths of such vulnerable people stuns the senses at the cruelty of it.

This is a season of sorrow and I fear as we clamber out of our self isolation bubbles this violence will only erupt.

In such a bitter rain of tears, Graham Dickason’s forgiveness of his wife for the killing of his 3 daughters actually makes you think there could be a God. His dignity and grace at a moment of total horror is an inspiration to us all…

“Please also pray for my lovely Lauren as I honestly believe that she is a victim of this tragedy as well,” he had written.

“People that know her well will testify to that, I have no doubt. I have already forgiven her and I urge you at your own time to do the same.”

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…I can’t articulate the courage and strength to contemplate those words let alone have them spoken.

His example is of a hope and love that conquers all and as we watch some of our damaged fellow human beings erupt with unexplainable violence over the next few months, his example will be all we can hold on to.

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  1. Forgiveness of perpetrators is quite regularly bestowed by survivors and close family in horrific cases like these kids murder. I used to wonder why, is it genuine, and why so quickly?

    A friend of mine was terribly treated by her father when young, mainly psychologically but physically as well, he kicked her mother out and took up with a younger woman (same age as my friend) and relations between my friend and father were non existent to rocky for many years. But in late middle age my friend went and saw him and began a new relationship with him and forgave him.

    I was stunned and asked “how could you do that, he is an arsehole”? She replied “I did it for me, so I could carry on and have a life”

    • You have provided an excellent answer in your last sentence. I have seen so many people who never let go of past wrongs & it ends up making a mess of their life.
      Unlike Martyn I do believe in God which is where the ultimate forgiveness comes from although Christians as a group are often unforgiving or loving which is usually the easiest way to tell how genuine their faith is.

  2. I have read about adult family members being distraught about a tragedy. The hardened police may look with heightened concern – compassion but also the thought ‘ Is it OTT, and why?’

  3. Actually sounds like the opposite happened last Covid. Suicide rates down. People feeling better.

    Coronavirus: Suicide rates went down during lockdown in NZ, Australia, other countries – study
    There was no evidence of any lockdown-triggered increase in any of the 21 countries, and 12 of them actually saw suicide numbers go significantly down. New Zealand had 20 percent fewer than expected, based on past trends. Australia fared almost as well.

    The finally got Kiwis to start saving….

    The newly mindful Kiwi is spending less on everyday discretionary items, is paying down debt, saving more and spending more on significant items, according to a new survey by the University of Otago.

  4. I am hoping some good comes out of this bad. I’m also hoping we can get to being more on a spiritual level and less materialistic that is what is crippling the world. I have always put plants animals, walking on my own before humans. I grew up in the 60’swhere life was so good and simple in NZ. Immigration has taken away from NZ. I feel like a tenant in my own country!

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