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Billy HallowellOct 3, 2019 12:00:00 AM2 min read

Inside the Viral Act of Forgiveness That Is Captivating America

In the midst of our torn, tattered and divisive culture, the emotional embrace between a hurting young man and his brother's killer went viral this week, sparking chatter and intrigue across social media.

If you don't know the details behind the story, let's briefly recap: Amber Guyger was a police officer in Dallas, Texas, in September 2018 when she burst into Botham Jean's apartment and shot him to death.

READ ALSO: 5 Healing Prayers for Forgiveness

Guyger, who said she mistakenly assumed at the time that she was in her own apartment one floor below Jean, was convicted this week of murder and sentenced to 10 years in jail — but it's what happened after her sentencing that has been uplifting hearts and shining light on forgiveness.

Brandt Jean, Botham Jean's 18-year-old brother, delivered an impact statement in court that has now been heard around the world. Rather than condemn his brother's killer, he offered some truly shocking words that should move and convict us to our core.

Speaking directly to Guyger, he boldly offered forgiveness and proceeded to do something totally unexpected: he embraced his brother's killer.

READ ALSO: 5 Inspirational Stories of Forgiveness You Won't Forget

"I'm not going to say I hope you rot and die, just like my brother— I personally want the best for you," Jean proclaimed. "I wasn't going to say this in front of my family or anyone, but I don't even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you, because I know that's exactly what Botham would want."

And he wasn't done there. The bold teen went on to explain what the "best" would look like for Guyger's life: "The best would be giving your life to Christ."

READ ALSO: How to Ask God for Forgiveness and Learn to Forgive Others

Jean told Guyger that he loves her as a person and doesn't wish anything bad on her before asking the judge if he could hug her.

The two embraced in the middle of the courtroom as sobs rang out. Watch the incredible moment:

Jean has much to teach all of us about the power and scope of true, Christ-ordained forgiveness.

Is this something you struggle with in your own life? Here's a helpful guide to forgiveness that will offer some tips. It's never too late to choose forgiveness.


Billy Hallowell

Billy Hallowell has been working in journalism and media for more than a decade. His writings have appeared in Deseret News, TheBlaze, Human Events, Mediaite and on, among other outlets. Hallowell has a B.A. in journalism and broadcasting from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York and an M.S. in social research from Hunter College in Manhattan, New York.