I had something happen today that is way past just strange. A father whose family I investigated, and found that he was molesting his children and abusing his wife, walked up to me and said that he would never again be with his family because of it. He said his wife is divorcing him and she is soon to regain custody of the children, in large part because she has excluded him from her life. He was not belligerent or threatening, just filled with hate, I suppose, and wanted me to know how I had ruined his life. This is the very sort of man that is the only sort for which I find nothing in myself but enmity. I so wanted to offer to escort him outside for a "tune up". As these thoughts raced through my mind, I was locked in to his eyes. I wanted to hurt him. I wanted to give him back some taste of the pain he has put into the world. Then I saw it. Not fear. Genuine anguish, he was anguished over the consequences of his actions. Suddenly, my straining to not act out in violent retribution, had turned into a teachable moment. I had him at an instant of time wherein he was vulnerable. I told him the story of the adulterous woman and Jesus saying to her, "Go thy way and sin no more." I pointed out that Jesus didn't say to her to right all her wrongs. He said "Sin no more." I told him that his first priority is to resolve never to touch another child, another woman, never to put a hand ever again to anyone to use them without regard for them first and foremost. Then to execute that resolve, every day with every one. Only that is repentance. I told him that in repentance is forgiveness. If he repents of his sin, he is forgiven, even by himself. I told him that whether he is a Christian or not, the principle is the same. Take it out of religion and it is just the idea that to be truly sorry, is not simply to wish it didn't happen, because you can't change the past. To be truly sorry is to make sure it never happens again. If you make sure it never happens again, one day you will realize you are not the same man that did those horrible things, you have made yourself over into someone else. Someone, not any longer guilty, but rather someone forgiven his past. Maybe not by your ex-wife or your children, but forgiven none the less.