Ryan

The Forgiveness of a Murderer

(Please listen to Ryan’s story by clicking the white play button at the top of this post. You can read the transcript of the story below.)

My youngest brother was born–he was the fourth child. He was born when I was 10 years old. And so it was cool to be a part of, of raising him. I always felt a little bit more like a guardian to him than a brother. And so we had a close bond in that way. My dad passed away in December 2011. My brother had been taking care of him during the day. And when the cancer got really bad, my brother had actually already dropped out of high school and was going to an alternative school. So he was spending a lot of time with my dad and I could tell that it was weighing on him.

Not too long after my dad passed away, my brother decided that he wanted to travel. He met some people that were like backpackers. They just would hop on trains and ride it as far as they could. Wherever they landed, they would panhandle or work odd jobs, get a little bit of money together, and then move on to the next place. I remember just feeling like, Ah, you know, like, I wish my brother would just come back home. But at the same time, I had this sense of like, he needs to process through some of this.

I was 30 when my dad passed away. It weighed on me and so I imagine that from 18 to 20, when my brother was there a lot with my dad, that it really, that–I had this sense that it was too much for him and that, yeah, that he just needed to process through some of this stuff. During that time while he was traveling, he went mostly to the west coast. He spent time in Washington, in Oregon and Montana, and every now and then we would, we would chat. There was a time when this couple was driving down the interstate in Montana. And they said the Holy Spirit told them to stop their car. As they stopped and pulled their car over to the shoulder, they saw my brother in a ditch. They rushed him to a hospital and nursed him back to health. I can remember thinking like, Okay, he’s done his traveling thing. He’s processed he was nearly killed. Surely he’s ready to come home. He did come home for a while. But not too long after that he left again.

I don’t know, maybe there was just something about the freedom of, of that lifestyle that he enjoyed. But I can remember — it was like a Saturday morning and we were in Thailand. Our youngest daughter, Kiva, had just been born two weeks before that so we were all just kind of laying around. And I got a FaceTime call from my mom, and she was crying. And so I knew, I knew something was wrong. My mom’s the type of lady that will compose herself before, you know, typically, even if something’s bothering her, and she just couldn’t compose herself and, and she said, “Your brother’s been killed.” This guy had sent her a text message from my brother’s phone that said, ‘I’m so sorry for what I’ve done. Your son was full of light. He was like an angel on this earth. I know you’ll never forgive me. I’ll never forgive myself. I’m so sorry.’ is basically what he said. So she immediately alerted the authorities and, and two days later, they found him dead in a hotel room. He’d been stabbed multiple, multiple times. Robee’s story in the L.A. times.

Few days later, I was on a plane to America with my two-year-old son, on my way to a funeral. That was a whirlwind of emotion. When I got back to Thailand, I can remember just being really, really angry. I would get really angry at my son for little things. I would get angry at my wife and immediately after, I would think like, I don’t know why I got so angry. I’m so sorry. You know, and I would apologize and finally my wife said, “I think, I think you should see a counselor. Talk with someone about what you’re, what you’re going through after losing your brother.” And so I did, and it was like a sozo type thing. And the thing that that I took away from it, that the Holy Spirit spoke to me was that “This isn’t your fault. And rather than any opportunities that you may have missed, I’m so glad, I’m so proud of you for the opportunities that you took with him. I know that you loved him.” When I heard that, man, something broke in me and I felt free from the guilt that I felt.

Not too long after that, we were notified that the trial was actually going to be taking place. And it was a fairly quick trial. And a few days later, this detective from California, from LA, said that the guy had been convicted of murder. “They’ll be sentencing him tomorrow. Is there anything that you would like to be read in court? Anything that you submit, will be read in front of everyone present, including the defendant.” So immediately I started writing this letter. And this is what I said:

“Hello sir, my name is Ryan Brewer. I’m Robee’s eldest brother. First off, I want you to know that from the deepest place in my heart, a place that houses my truest emotions, I forgive you. I wish you no ill will. And in fact, I don’t hope you pay for the wrongs that you’ve done. I know that there is a system in place and that chances are you will have a long journey ahead of you. But I honestly wish you didn’t have to travel that road. You see, I once was a murderer.

In Matthew 5 Jesus mentions the age old commandment ‘You shall not murder’ but then He raises the stakes. He says, “If you ever hate someone, you are guilty of the same sin.” My hate was not limited to those of a different race, cultural background or political leaning. I hated anyone and everyone who didn’t love me. I was so consumed with myself, that anyone who I saw as a threat to my position, or an obstacle to advancement in my world, became the victim of my venomous hate. Sometimes it spewed out in the way that I spoke, sometimes through physical altercations, but it was always there like a dark cloud that hovered over me. It kept me in chains. It kept me blinded, and kept me from being the real me that God had created me to be.

I’d always heard that Jesus had to die, because I was a sinner, but no one ever told me the truth. I wasn’t just a sinner in need of saving; I was a son who needed to be redeemed and rescued. That reality changed my life.

Then in a moment of clarity, all of that changed as I called out to Jesus. His love gushed into my broken heart and immediately began healing it. He began to show me who I was in Him; who I was to Him. I’d always heard that Jesus had to die, because I was a sinner, but no one ever told me the truth. He spent his blood to buy back my created value. I wasn’t just a sinner in need of saving; I was a son who needed to be redeemed and rescued. That reality changed my life. I’m no longer capable of hating anyone. In fact, the opposite is true. I can’t help but love people.

Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment is. His response was, “to love God with your whole heart, mind, and strength.” Then He went on to say that, “to love our neighbor as much as we love our own lives, is the second greatest.” When someone asked Him who our neighbor is, He told a story about a man who saved the life of a man who was dying, and nursed him back to life, even though popular opinion was that they were enemies. The popular opinion out there is that you and I should be enemies. But I want you to know that I love you. I know that the person God created you to be would never have committed those things, and that you were being manipulated by the same hate that used to drive my own life. My desire is not that you would pay for what you have done, but that you would experience the same clemency that I’ve embraced with my whole being–that even though I was guilty of murder in my own heart, I have been declared innocent, just as if it had never happen. That type of grace can only be found in Jesus. But it is there. And if you haven’t found it, it’s waiting for you.

Though you stand before a judge and mediator today, I want you to know that there is only one mediator between God and man, and that is the man, Christ Jesus. He’s already paid the price for your mistakes and He wants to set you free from any and all guilt and shame that you may have. Though you may have been condemned by this court, you can be declared eternally righteous in Christ Jesus. And though you may have to spend time in a cell, there is a freedom that is found in Christ that cannot be taken away by a man on this earth. You are a prisoner of sin when you lived life on the outside, but you can find true freedom inside of a room that locks from the outside. I want you to know that you have not been disqualified from being the man that God created you to be. God has amazing plans for your life. Just do what I did 10 years ago. Cry out to Him and allow His love to fill your heart. Then find other men who loves Jesus and delve into His Word with them. Let the words on those pages be life to your soul and let them transform you as they renew your mind. I’m praying for you, and I’m hoping for the best for you. God bless you.” Ryan Brewer

It messed up my view of justice, and how God sees justice, like justice is for things to be made right. And so often we’re thinking of, like the thing that was done needs to be undone or recompensed for. But what God is saying is like, these people need to be made right with Me. They need to come back into right standing with Me, which is righteousness, which can only be found in embracing forgiveness and embracing Jesus. So it was an honor to be able part of Kingdom justice.

DONATE NOW TO HELP US BRING YOU MORE STORIES

Latest Stories

Simple Prayer of Faith

Wade shares how a simple prayer of faith and following Jesus' example of laying hands on the sick has lead to supernatural healings and salvations. The ultimate goal is to follow [...]

A Buddhist Hears From Jesus

Growing up Buddhist, Allison sought academic praise and worldly achievements, doing all the right things but never finding peace. In the midst of a suicide attempt, she hears the [...]

The Story Behind TUS Q&A pt. 2

Brooke, Adam and with the help of their CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer) Meredith answer listeners' questions on their stories, ministry challenges, and what's next for The Unseen [...]

The Gift of Trust

Faced with infertility, Rod and his wife choose to trust God and His plans for them through the gift of adopting a child with Cerebral Palsy. God has supernaturally revealed [...]

Spiritual Roots

After years of unexplained medical issues, Renee hears that her symptoms have spiritual roots. At the end of her rope, she considers the supernatural. Renee's faith is challenged [...]

The Forgiveness of an Adulterer

A broken past leads to lies and adultery as the foundation of their marriage. Through God's incredible grace and forgiveness, hope is found and a marriage is restored.

The Forgiveness of an Adulterer

A broken past leads to lies and adultery as the foundation of their marriage. Through God's incredible grace and forgiveness, hope is found and a marriage is restored.

The Forgiveness of a Murderer

Ryan is able to forgive his brother's murderer and offer him the same redemption and hope he has found in Christ. I was a son who needed to be redeemed and rescued. That reality [...]

Inner Healing and Deliverance

Kelsey thought inner healing and deliverance was weird until she experienced it for herself and truly understood the gospel at a deeply personal level. I think, until we as [...]

Made to Worship

Learning to pray to the Lord through singing, Aiva became connected to God. It is in worship that she found His comfort, peace, nearness, and more in the midst of tragedy. I've [...]

Keeping a Promise

Diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age in Mexico and ostracized from her family for her faith, Tethe keeps her promise to the Lord. In 1997 I had no hope to live. I didn't [...]

Voice of God

The appearance of perfection was important for Craig as a Pastor's son, but when he hears the voice of God everything changes. I heard the voice of God in a way that I didn't know [...]

A Friend of Jesus

He's carried a 12 foot wooden cross all over the world, has story after story that movies are made of, and only wants to be remembered as a friend of Jesus. He has given us an [...]

Purposefully Homeless

Led by God on a purposefully homeless journey, Rachel leaves her job, home, and modern day comforts to find the one thing money can't buy. I wasn't raised this kind of [...]

Light in the Darkness

Diagnosed with over eight mental illnesses, in and out of over 20 different psych wards, and put on up to 10 psych meds at a time, Alexis felt hopeless. Until, Light met her in the [...]

In Need of the Gospel

Through missional outreach, Jesse realizes we are all in need of the gospel. He is burdened with the weight of sharing and living for His Kingdom. There are people that are, that [...]

Raise My Son

Her son was dead for 21 minutes and brain dead for 2 days. In a sea of doctors, Angelic cries out to God and prays over her son through the power of the Holy Spirit, "Raise my [...]

Your Life Is Not Your Own

Rosie has attempted suicide twice since losing her son and is planning a third attempt the very day that she meets Tyler and Andy who share that her life is not her own and God has [...]

When Heaven and Earth Collide

An instrument maker by trade, Caleb receives a digital download of an instrument he has never seen and a tribe name in a dream. This dream ignites a journey where heaven and earth [...]

Unraveling Addiction, Restoring a Marriage

It wasn't until we deconstructed everything on the outside and let God rebuild from the inside that I became comfortable in my own skin. There's a systematic replacement of lies [...]

I Give You My Life

Fourteen years old and struggling with insecurity and feeling weak, Chethan plans his suicide. He cries out to God, "I give you my life" and is overwhelmed by the presence and [...]

Knit Together

Ultrasounds revealed and confirmed, in utero, that Ashley's son August had polycystic kidney disease in both kidneys. After months of prayer, God knit together a miracle for family [...]

The Father’s House

When things don't add up, God's miraculous provision provides further confirmation for missionaries to create a discipleship house for the homeless –The Father's House.

Through the Wilderness

A seasoned hiker loses his trail and is lost for seven days. Desperate for help and ready to give up, Josh hears a Voice that guides him through the wilderness, giving him peace in [...]

Going All In

"When I was born on May 4, 2012, I was already fighting for my life. Just like everyone here, God had a purpose for my life. After spending three weeks in the NICU at birth, I [...]

Hal-Le-Lu-Jah

Born with severe sleep apnea, 21 month old Landon receives a tracheotomy and doctors say he will never talk. His parents pray for complete healing and receive a miracle with one [...]

Not Ashamed

Her heart is for women caught in sex industry and life on the streets, but Nadia shares how Holy Spirit directed her to share the Father's heart for a pimp.

Running With The Gospel

After multiple confirmations of his calling, God anoints Peter's feet to run with the gospel. When a father affirms a son, there's nothing more powerful.

Give Jesus a Try

I had constant suicidal thoughts, like, on the regular, I always thought about wanting to kill myself, because I never thought I was ever good enough. And I always thought that, [...]

God Has the Final Say…Not Cancer

Doctors sent him home to die. Sure that God had the final say and not cancer Jeff maintained, prayed without ceasing and the cancer ravaging his body was healed.

An Impossible Conception

She has battled cancer multiple times and through those challenges is told conception is impossible. But God...After 17 years of infertility, she becomes pregnant.

When All Seems Lost

On suicide watch all seems lost when JD loses nearly three quarters of a million dollars in three days. But faithful obedience pays off. I thought God was going to bless me. And [...]

Heart for the Homeless

Circumstances in her own life gives Karen a deep understanding and heart for the homeless that leads serving in South Dallas faithfully for over 23 years.

Co-Laboring In Love

A shared love for hair and Jesus finds two stylists co-laboring to bring the beauty and hope of the gospel to their downtown salon. The safest place is in His will. And, the [...]

Reclaiming the Past

Unable to trust God after the loss of his sister, EJ looks for answers and is able to reclaim the past when he has multiple encounters with Jesus. I think fear will keep you from [...]

The Story Behind The Unseen Story

His love surpasses knowledge; it's a peace that surpasses understanding. That means it's beyond, what God does, has to be beyond our intellect. If we can understand God, then we [...]

The Risk of Faith

Looking for opportunities to celebrate God, Daniel goes out expecting God to show up in a moment and his faith is increased with every risk he takes. For me, it's all about Jesus. [...]

An Intimate Vision

Seeing God's word as an intimate love letter draws Craig into encounters with Jesus that change his vision of himself and a deeper relationship with God.

Healing in Unbelief 2/2

Ten years of chronic, debilitating back pain leaves Camille in unbelief that it's God's will to heal her. God challenges her understanding through a "chance encounter" with an [...]

Healing in Unbelief 1/2

An ambassador for Christ, Lee finds himself faced with Camille's unbelief despite his certainty that God is going to supernaturally heal her. If I could teach anybody, anything, [...]

Radical Love Extravagant Provision

God's radical love causes Kyna to leave drugs and alcohol behind as her daily provision becomes the extravagant love of the Lord. I want to walk in radical love and radical [...]

Hearing God’s Voice

A string of bad choices leave Baylee broken and homeless. Desperate for help, her hope is restored by the prayer of a stranger and hearing the voice of God.

An Order to Prophecy

Knowing God is a God of order, Pierce prays for and receives immediate confirmation regarding a prophetic word. He shares it with the entire church. I am not what I would consider [...]

Break Through

Addicted to drugs for over 23 years, God uses what should have been a fatal car accident to break through the noise in Todd's life and draw him near. "I don't really have an [...]

Facing Mental Affliction

Years of mental affliction was destroying Anthony and his family. He encounters Jesus through love and inner healing and is instantly healed.

Reconciling Race

A purposeful engagement and wedding become the catalyst to reconciling race through the union of marriage and the grace of God. My definition of racism is like a hatred of the [...]

Precious Pain

Paralyzed by the pain of arthritis, forced to rest and unable to care for her family Sayo hears clearly from the Lord. Her illness becomes precious. I sensed God telling me, "You [...]

A Step of Faith is a Step of Faith

There has been uncertainty, there has been apprehensions and fears; all of that were there for sure. But it was with breathless expectation of God showing up and doing something [...]

Provision for the Journey

They sold everything and set out on a journey, not sure where the Lord would lead them. They've learned to trust Him every step of the way. To get rid of excess, and get rid of [...]

Whoa, God is Here!

As he's telling the story, every mouth, just about every mouth in the room dropped open, including mine, and at the very end he said, "I have nightmares often about that game [...]

A Really Big Yes

We've given our lives so we're just bound for whatever He wants to do and just that season was so much of the Holy Spirit just doing, just showing up, and I'm kind of just [...]

Unbelievable Expectations

Does that mean that I was saved? I lived like hell for 45 years after that. So does that mean that I was saved? I don't know. I got to the point where I was I was drinking, you [...]

Daily Desperate Dependence

When life's challenges become too great, Joe discovers the only thing that will get him through is a daily desperate dependance on the Lord. I began connecting with the Holy [...]

Freedom Behind Bars 2/2

After 34 years of serving the Lord behind bars, Gene is released. Looking back he shares some of the supernatural God moments in his life. He said, "Seriously, the Holy Spirit told [...]

Freedom Behind Bars 1/2

Sentenced to life in prison for a crime he didn't commit, Gene finds Jesus and true freedom behind bars as his pleas for mercy are denied by the courts. "Unshackle him, release him [...]

Resource Room of Heaven

Financial plans crumble, car totalled, Clint feels he is being punished by God. He soon learns that our Father is making a way and providing resources for him that only heaven can [...]

Courageously Weird

Stepping out on a limb for God but not wanting to be seen as weird, Molly pushes through her own fears to be courageous in the Lord. These are the stories--- these are the ones [...]

Father to the Fatherless

There was this void in my life, right? This void of love, this void of acceptance, void of attention, void of affirmation, and I tried my hardest to find those things. I believe [...]

Dance with Me

And so I just leaned my head forward. And for a moment, I felt like there was a chest that I was really putting my head on, and I just danced with Jesus and cried and experienced [...]

An Answer to Anxiety

I did not want the Lord. All I was wanting was to get this anxiousness out of me. This was bad this was really bad anxiety. I was asking the Lord to help me. He came in and He gave [...]

A Vision Revealed. A Waitress Consoled.

He loves all of us like that! I thought about it I bet she's been crying out for years thinking her prayers aren't getting any higher than the ceiling because nothing's changing. [...]

Power of Prayer in the Storm of Addiction

Just over and over again, when I would get in a bad place, [I would say] “God who is my daughter? Who is my daughter?” And I would declare it; “She's a princess warrior. She is [...]

Inmates Pray. Cancer Healed.

The doctor walks in and he says, “Mr. Edson, I don't know how to explain this, but there is no cancer in this biopsy.” Immediately, I showed them a band that I wear around my wrist [...]

Dreams. A Glimpse of the Father’s Love.

I realized all those things that I dreamt about, that those were gifts that He gave me. Gifts. Just like a glimpse of His power for me and His love for me. That He loved me so much [...]

Two Words from a Stranger…

Jeremy prays for an opportunity to share God's love. He receives a word of knowledge for a stranger. Those two specific words change both men forever.

The Height of Grace in the depths…

Abortion leaves many in the depths of despair, it is only through the heigths of the Father's love and grace that Brooke is able to forgive herself.

Send this to a friend

Hi, this story is AMAZING! Please take a moment to listen: The Forgiveness of a Murderer!
link: https://theunseenstory.org/stories-posts/the-forgiveness-of-a-murderer/