Darrin Ray unexpectedly asked the judge to forgive the drunk driver who caused his disability after seeing how Jesus died for his sins.
Born with bilateral cleft palate, Darrin has had a tough childhood. At a very young age, he faced a series of surgeries and countless bullying from other kids. Despite being raised in a Christian home, he felt abandoned and unloved by God because of his situation.
After several years, Darrin’s life seemed to be coming well together. Hearing God’s calling towards ministry, he started to attend seminary to study Christian counseling. He is also happily married with a three-year-old daughter. However, all that changed on August 20, 2006, when he got in a terrible road accident while he and his daughter were driving to church.
“I had gotten up that morning to go to church,” Ray recalled. “My daughter was in the backseat, and I got about a mile from my home in a 20-mile-an-hour school zone when a man who was intoxicated and high on prescription pills came the other way going 60 miles an hour. And he crossed the double yellow line and hit me head-on. The combined crash was like driving my car into a brick wall 90 miles an hour.”
The crash was so bad that Darrin was inflicted with multiple injuries that left him amputated. Both of his legs were crushed, his arms are covered with the battery acid, his left femur was broken into pieces and his right ankle was crushed.
“I was bleeding to death,” he said. “Paramedics had to use the Jaws of Life to peel the car from around me. It was a terrifying experience. Thankfully, my daughter had nothing but a scratch.”
After spending a month in the hospital undergoing multiple surgeries, the now amputated Darrin went back to seminary. Yet, he was still full of anger towards the man who caused his disability. But, God changed his heart towards the man and helped him forgive him.
“It was the man’s fourth DUI, and the state had revoked his license. I had a picture in my head of who this guy was: A big, mean, evil-looking man. It was easy for me to be unforgiving to him,” he said. “One was the first to change my perspective of him. When the man walked in the courtroom, he was just 49 years old yet looked 70 due to years of harsh living. God used that to soften my heart and dispel what I originally thought he would look like.”
While reading the scripture, Darrin came across the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus praying for forgiveness. That was when he also started to pray that God would help him forgive the man he resented the most.
“I didn’t feel like forgiving the man,” Darrin admitted. “But I knew it was what God wanted me to do. I trusted Him to help me forgive. I prayed, ‘Lord, I don’t want to forgive. Help me to do what you want.’”
At the court hearing, Darrin unexpectedly asked the judge to forgive the debt that the drunk driver owed his family.
“The judge looked at me and said, ‘Why do you want to forgive this man that debt?’” he said. “And I looked at that judge, and I told him, ‘Because I have a Savior that forgave me. He paid my debts that I could never repay.’”
Reference: YouTube | I Am Second