This is a post from Ellen, whose story is featured in the book. She lost a daughter, and in her grief and despair, turned to her religion for comfort. In doing so, she promised God that she would pray for someone, and that someone ended up being Brent. They began to write. To this day, they still do, and this is Ellen explaining that dynamic.
Who we are is not just a reflection of our past, but who we have become. I would like to show the Brent that I know. Brent has been a true friend and like a brother to me. He honestly has been there for me since day one. He could see that I was hurting and not dealing with life, when I wouldn’t even acknowledge that there was a problem. He helped me see that I needed to grieve and that it was alright to do so – and he did this at a time when he at the lowest point of life emotionally himself. People have said he is incapable of compassion, but I find that statement to be incorrect. He has always been compassionate, patient and caring toward me. He has never once tried to use me in any way, which honestly, I truly thought he would when I first decided to correspond with him. Being there for me probably was not easy for him considering that most people abandoned him in life. Trust in people is very hard for him, and understandably so. So for Brent to try to be a friend to me was actually a great risk on his part, but he did do it. The Brent I know puts his faith in God, reads the Bible daily, has deep regret for the pain he has caused others and lives for God and to help others.
God did not create anything “bad” or “evil”. Evil happens when we walk away from God, because then we are walking away from love and goodness. Evil is simply an absence of God. Once God is put back into one’s life, goodness and love also will come back into a person’s life. How do I see Brent? When I first knew him, he was simply someone that I felt needed help. Now, I see Brent as a child of God, a friend and like a brother to myself, someone who has helped me tremendously, has stood by my side even when I’ve been wrong (and wasn’t afraid to tell me so) and someone that I’ve seen God works through time and time again.