Episode 6: Love Thy Neighbour


Today's episode of Metamorphosis involves the transformation of two people: Mary Johnson and Oshea Israel. Their lives were devastated by murder and eventually transformed through the power of forgiveness.

Mary's only son was murdered in 1993 when he was 20 years old. Every day, Mary attended the trial of her son's killer hoping to see justice done; hoping to see him receive life imprisonment.

But despite the lingering anger and hate in her heart, Mary decided to begin a support group for mothers who'd lost children to murder.

LoveThyPicWRichard.jpgBut she realized before she could accomplish this, she had to first confront her son's killer in prison and truly forgive him. Even as she walked up the stairs leading to the prison she had doubts she'd be able to do it.  When she met face to face with him and they sat and talked, it all seemed so unreal.  Finally, as she got up to leave, he made a request that would cause her to fall to her knees

Oshea Israel was a 16-year-old drug dealing gang member with a short fuse and a gun tucked in his pants.  That proved to be a lethal combination for another young gang member who happened to be attending the same house party in 1993.  Oshea Israel was arrested, tried, convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison.  While in prison he began to realize that he and the young man he murdered were very much alike and had circumstances been different, they may have been friends.  And what about his victim's mother?  Could she ever forgive him?  Could he ever forgive himself?


From Death to Life website