Posted by Jud Wilhite: Remember the YouTube video that showed the decapitation of an American at the hands of Al-Qaeda several years ago?

While fighting in the war in Iraq, Nicholas Berg was abducted by a group of Islamist extremists. In a video released to the public in May of 2004 on the internet, Nicholas Berg (while fully awake) was brutally decapitated with a small dull knife.

The video made shockwaves around the world. The CIA later claimed that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi of Al-Qaeda personally beheaded Berg.

Later, when news broke that Zarqawi himself had been killed in June of 2006, Nicholas Berg’s father, Michael Berg, publically spoke of his forgiveness for Zarqawi. He said it took about a half a year before he could come to the point where he could honestly say he forgave him.

After his son’s death, he had opened up a catalog that came in the mail and saw a course offered at a Christian university entitled, “Forgiveness: The Way to Love in a Wounded World.” There he learned about the power of forgiveness.

He said this about revenge: “I think that when you ask for revenge you actually justify the death of your loved one. If I say revenge is okay for Zarqawi, look what he did to my son, then why can’t Zarqawi’s parents say, ‘You caused the death of my son, so we are entitled to revenge on you.’ And why can’t Zarqawi go back and say Americans caused the death, rape and torture on those prisoners at Abu Ghraib. I cannot and will not ever justify revenge because that would justify my son’s death.”

Many people expressed anger and even outrage at his forgiveness, but when Canadian musician Peter Katz heard of the second chances he extended, he was touched. He pulled over to the side of the road and immediately wrote the chorus to a future song titled Forgiveness that is about Berg.

He wrote:

You can call me a coward Call me whatever you chose Once you could have hurt me But now, I’ve nothing left to lose

So I guess I’m going to have to try forgiveness ‘Cause man you know that’s all that I’ve got left My boy did not deserve this, but neither do the rest I guess I’m going to have to try forgiveness

Berg is a person of the second chance. Am I? Are you?