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Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Power of Forgiveness

I normally don’t write about “second hand” testimonies, but this is one we can all embrace and glean from. A while back, I was privileged to meet Marilyn. This is her story.

Marilyn's Amazing Story of Forgiveness

In 1984, there was a bank robbery in the small west Oklahoma town of Geronimo. Marilyn was working as a waitress and walked across to the bank to get change for the restaurant. She followed a young farmer into the building. Immediately, a gunman ushered them to a backroom where three woman were lying face down on the floor. The three woman who were employees of the bank, had been stabbed multiple times; however, in the excitement, Marilyn nor the farmer realized the women were already dead. One of the young ladies was Marilyn’s first cousin.

After Marilyn and the young farmer were forced to lie down with their faces to the floor, another gunman forced a young couple with a baby into the room and they were made to lay on the floor, also.

A few minutes later, one of the gunmen shot the farmer in the back of the head.

Marilyn was a brand new “baby” Christian and all she could think to do, was call on the name of Jesus. So, without an outward sound, from her heart she called on the King of kings over and over. The gunman then moved to Marilyn and shot her. Marilyn lost consciousness. He then moved to the young couple, shooting both of them and he attempted numerous times to shoot the baby in the back of the neck, but the gun was empty by this time.

What seemed like an eternity, according to the FBI report, was only fourteen minutes from the time Marilyn had been forced into the backroom, until the failed attempt to kill the baby.

Marilyn needed the skill of a trauma unit. The closest one was Oklahoma City. She would need the assistance of medi-flight. Due to heavy snow fall, medi-flight had been grounded.

Somehow, miraculously, two helicopter pilots based at Fort Sill heard of Marilyn’s plight. They asked for permission to fly Marilyn to OKC. It was denied because of the weather. They went against orders and made the flight.

Once in OKC, doctors didn’t give Marilyn’s family any hope. It would be months before she would be well enough to leave the hospital, if at all. The fact was, if she lived, she would be nothing more than a vegetable, unable to care for herself.

Fourteen days later, Marilyn (to everyone’s amazement, including her team of doctors) walked out of the hospital.

When it came time for the trial, Marilyn was called as a witness. But when asked about the robbery, all she wanted to do was testify to the healing power of Jesus and what He had done both during the robbery and while she was in the hospital. And that is what she did.

One of the robbers was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences; the other was sentenced to die.

Marilyn, who has a heart after Christ Himself, wanted to talk to the men. She wanted to tell them, she had forgiven them and she desired to share what Jesus had ministered to her from the beginning of this traumatic event. She was never allowed a face to face meeting; however, she was given permission to write both men.

Marilyn and the young man who was sentenced to die, became “friends”. Because of Marilyn, he gave his life to Christ. The other young man, insist he did nothing wrong. As Marilyn says, she would like to forgive him, but it is difficult to share forgiveness with someone who insists they have done nothing wrong.

Marilyn’s wounds left their affect. She was left unable to hear on one side, her vision is such that she no longer drives, and when in front of a large crowd she has difficulty articulating at times. Marilyn laughs and says, according to her brother, “That is not a new problem. She has always been a little slow.”

Several years after the robbery, Marilyn was home alone sitting at her dinning table listening to a preaching cassette tape. God healed her hearing, completely, instantly! She believes one day, He will also heal her vision. She guesses, again according to her brother, she will always be slow.

Her message is riveting, but she stresses this: As a babe in Christ who did not know a single Bible verse, who only knew to call upon the Name of Jesus - from the time she did, NO ONE ELSE IN THE BACKROOM OF THE BANK WAS KILLED!

Like Marilyn, the young couple recovered from their wounds.

God is amazing! And when we allow HIM to use us, we are able to do amazing things.

”And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” ~ Acts 2:21

I am still having computer problems, so if I am unable to post or comment on your blog, it isn’t because I’m not trying. My AT&T wireless malfunctions about 60% of the time. It is very frustrating, but want you to know, I am here and I am thinking about you.

Have a blessed week!


  1. Thank you for sharing this amazing story.

  2. Very powerful story. Thank you for sharing it!

  3. Thanks for sharing that testimony, Cheryl! Goosebumps I am having! :)

  4. Praise Him from whom all blessings flow!! Thank you for sharing Marilyn's story.

    ~~blessed be...

  5. Wow! I remember seeing that on the news. I had never heard any of the first account events.

    What an amazing example of Christ she is to everyone she meets.

    Thank you for sharing her story.

  6. Thank you for taking the time to type that whole story for us Amazing! He does here us when we pray!

    Love it that you are now coming and visiting me. I will be visiting you also. Love your name. Smile!

    Blessings, Linda

  7. Cheryl, I gave you a little blog love on my newest post. =)

  8. Cheryl,

    That is an inspiring story and the definition of Christ's grace...thank you for sharing.


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