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A Time to Forgive


Two families, tied together by tragedy, find a common path to healing…

In 1996, just weeks before she was to move back home to the Pacific Northwest, Shannon Bigger was murdered in her Maryland apartment. In A Time to Forgive, her father, Darold Bigger from Walla Walla University, tells the story of this awful tragedy and her parents' journey from unimaginable pain to an equally unimaginable forgiveness.

Now, recent events have set in motion an amazing follow-up to this amazing narrative.

Shannon's killer was found with several of her belongings in his possession — among them a Gemeinhardt flute she had worked hard to be able to afford. For the past 22 years, Darold and Barbara Bigger have kept Shannon’s flute as a reminder of their daughter. “I couldn't bring myself to look inside the case," Barbara says. "It sat for years in one spot in our bedroom.”

That all changed in early December of this year when the Biggers heard about a drive by the Rogue Valley Adventist Academy to supply musical instruments for students at Paradise Adventist Academy in California who had lost their instruments in the recent devastating Camp Fire. 

Late last week, Jacob Kornhauser, a television reporter from Medford, Oregon, interviewed Barbara and Darold about the donation of their deceased daughter's flute to a survivor of the Camp Fire. Along with Shannon's flute, the Biggers also shared a copy of A Time to Forgive.

Darold and Barbara agree that it just seemed right that Shannon's flute find a new home with someone whose life had been turned upside down by tragedy. “Shannon would have loved to be the one donating the instrument, herself,” they thought.

“I'll have it for the rest of my life and it'll bring back memories of this time,” predicted Ashley Hamilton, the Paradise Adventist Academy student who received Shannon's flute. “I'm really overwhelmed.”

Two families, tied together by tragedy, are now sharing one common thread to help both heal. The simple story of a flute and its decades-long journey reminds us that our darkest days are often followed by our finest hours. “Tragedies don't need to end in tragedy,” Darold Bigger reflected.

The text story by Jacob Kornhauser is an amazing testimony and can be viewed by clicking here.

WATCH “A Flute of Fate” from KDRV NewsWatch 12 here:

Darold Bigger tells the intriguing story of forgiveness and healing in A Time to Forgive.

Click here to read the first chapter — free — online.

Darold Bigger has also created the Forgive Now Workshop on DVD.

Both these resources are available at your Adventist Book Center by calling 1-800-765-6955 or visiting the website. The book is also available on Amazon.


This article was written by Dale Galusha, president of Pacific Press Publishing, and was originally published in the Pacific Press e-newsletter. It is republished here with permission.

Image: Video still (KDRV NewsWatch 12).


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