National Magazine of the Lutheran Church of Australia

Forgiveness has power to heal

February 2018

by Adam McKay

Fifteen years ago I was a horticulturalist by trade and I had my own business – called Adam the First Gardener. I enjoyed my work and I also loved riding my bike, so I would ride to work every day. I used to pull 250 kilos of horticulture tools behind my pushbike!

I was subcontracting on the annexes at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Then on 15 January 2003, I was hit by a car on my way to work.

My life and dreams were shattered. I was in a coma for eight days. I had full memory loss, an internal head injury and a knee injury. I had to rebuild my whole life. I had to learn who I was again. They had to teach me how to use my hands again, how to build up my strength, my balance, everything. It was very frustrating.

I was in a wheelchair and people didn’t think I would walk again. I had always had a hot temper and I was starting to show my anger in hospital. I was angry at the driver who hit me. I know now that I was angry at myself, too.

When someone at the hospital mentioned that I was angry, I said I wanted to be left alone, so they wheeled me over to a corner. But I was really ‘agro’ and I punched out a brick from a double-brick wall!

I think that probably scared some people at the hospital – you wouldn’t expect that much strength from someone in a wheelchair.

But when I pounded the wall out, I think that was the first step to forgiveness.

I told the staff I needed Christians around me and they found five other Christians, who came and prayed for me. Someone said to me afterwards that I’d have to forgive the driver. But it’s hard to forgive, because it’s not our human nature – it’s God’s nature to forgive.

I had to take it step-by-step and work on it with God’s help and my family’s help and a lot of counselling. I was still in my wheelchair but as soon as I forgave the driver, things started happening.