Letters from My Father’s Murderer by Laurie Coombs

An engaging story about forgiveness and God's power to heal wounded hearts.
An engaging story about forgiveness and God’s power to heal wounded hearts.

“”I believe God is not finished with either of us. Tomorrow is a good day.” –Anthony to Laurie”
When her father was murdered, Laurie Coombs sought justice–and found it. His murderer now serves two life sentences with no possibility of parole. Yet, despite the swift punishment of the killer, Laurie found herself increasingly full of pain, bitterness, and anger she couldn’t control. After coming to faith, she realized she was being called to seek something infinitely more difficult than justice: forgiveness.
This is an extraordinary true story of grace, mercy, and the redemptive power of God to change lives. The reader is swept along with Laurie as she undergoes the life-changing transformation of becoming a Christian. As she studies Scripture, seeing God redeeming losses and healing deep wounds time and time again, she starts to understand that her own healing would require her to love her enemy in a real, practical way.
Using her incredible correspondence with the man who killed her father, Laurie reveals a compelling journey of transformation, not only in her life, but in the lives of those whom many would call irredeemable.
“Letters from My Father’s Murderer” is for any audience–Christian or secular–who
– Craves freedom from the inability to forgive those who’ve caused them harm
– Wants to hear testimony of God’s power in our obedience
– Has experienced pain through other’s sin against them
– Needs to know healing is always possible
The real story here is not primarily about murder and its fallout, but rather about redemption and how far it can reach.

My Review:

First let me say that my first choice for something to read is normally fiction. With that being said, this nonfiction story seized my attention from the first chapter. The premise of the story is that Ms. Coombs’s father was murdered by a business acquaintance. The unexpected murder and loss causes much grief, and leads Ms. Coombs into a place of darkness and bitterness in her life.

My initial response was shock as Ms. Coombs’s own weaknesses and failures are revealed. Then, I found myself drawn into the heart of her pain and her cry for healing. With so much bitterness filling her life, it was encouraging to read quotes such as, “Time only dulls the pain. God heals the wounds,” and “I was thirsty for truth–and for God,” and “But ultimately, forgiveness is not an option. It’s a command.” As Ms. Coombs writes about her journey toward forgiveness and healing she is charged with the mission to reach out and love her enemy, Anthony, the man who murdered her cherished father. It is an engaging story, full of the uncertainty and challenge that life often brings whether one is ready for it or not. It is about the power of forgiveness; a gift only God can provide for those who have the courage to seek it. Finally it is about the power of love that can transform hearts, even that of a murderer, into the image of Christ.

Whether you have faced a similar situation or simply struggling with grief and loss, or seek to give forgiveness, or in dire need of forgiveness, you’ll find powerful words of faith and encouragement to help you along your own journey.

Note: Litfuse Publicity Group requested I read and give an honest assessment of the book, Letters from My Father’s Murderer, by Laurie Coombs.