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    Friday,December 20,1974 was the last day of school
before Christmas vacation. I was 10 years old and
excited about  the upcoming holiday as I got off the
school bus that afternoon. A few doors down from my

home in Coral Gables, Florida, a man came up to
me, introduced himself as " Chuck" and asked if I would
help him with the decorations for a party he was hosting
for my father. Thinking that he was a friend of my dad's, I
agreed to go with him                                                        

    What I didn't know  was that this man,whose name was
actually David McAllister, held a grudge against my family.
He had been employed as a nurse for an elderly relative .but
had been fired because of his drinking.


    After I agreed to accompany him, he drove his motor home
to an isolated  area north of Miami, where he stopped by the side
 of the road  and stabbed me in the chest several times with an
ice pick. He then drove west to the Florida Everglades, walked me
out among the bushes, shot me, through the head and left me to die.


    Fortunately the bullet passed behind my eyes and exited my     right temple, without causing any brain damage. When I regained      consciousness six days later, I was unaware that I had been shot.
I sat by the side of the road and was found by a man who stopped
to help me.


    Two weeks later, I described the person who had assaulted me
to a police artist, and my uncle recognized  the resulting portrait
as that of David McAllister. He was brought in along with other
suspects, but for some reason I wasn't able to identify him.
Unfortunately, the police could not obtain any physical evidence
to link him to the crime, and he was never charged.

   The assault left me blind in my left eye, but otherwise uninjured
and with the love and support  of my family and friends, I went back
to  school  and resumed my life.


    For the next three years I lived with tremendous anxiety. Most
nights I would wake up frightened, imagining I heard someone
coming in the back door, and I would wind up sleeping at the
foot of my parent's bed.


    Then, when I was 13, all that changed .One night, during a Bible study with my church youth group, I realized that God's providence
and love, having miraculously kept me alive , were the basis for my

life's security. In His hands, I could live without fear or anger.And so I did.I finished school,earning a Bachelor's degree and a master of divinity. I married my wonderful wife , Leslie. We have two beautiful daughters, Amanda ,who is now 2 and Melodee who is almost a year now. 

    In September of 1996 major Charles Scherer of the Coral Gables
Police Department, who had worked on the original investigation
of my case, called to tell me that 77 year old David McAllister had finally confessed .Blind from glaucoma, in poor health,without family or friends, he was in a North Miami Beach nursing home. I visited him there.


    The first time I went to see him, he apologized for what he had done to me ,and I told him I had forgiven him . I visited him many times after that, introducing him to my wife and girls , offering him hope , and some semblence of family in the days before his death.
He was always glad when I came by. I believe that our friendship
eased the lonliness and was a great relief to him after 22 years of regrets


    I know the world might view me as the "victim" of a horrible tragedy, but I consider myself the "victim" of many miracles .The fact that I am alive and have no mental deficiencies defies the odds.
I've got a loving wife and a  beautiful family . I've been  given as much promise as anybody else, and ample opportunities. I've been
blessed in a lot of ways.


    And while many people can't understand how I could forgive David McAllister, from my point of view I couldn't NOT forgive him. If I had chosen to hate him all these years , or spent my life looking for revenge, then I wouldn't be the man today, the man my wife and children love.

Our Creator would never have made such lovely days  and have given us the deep hearts to enjoy them unless we were meant to be immortal.


Tears    Just Beyond Your Touch|   God's Masterpiece
Never    To Remember Me


 Do You Really Want to Understand   The Invitation Elephant in the Room   Butt prints in the Sand
Life's Weaving    Death is Nothing At All We Give Them Back To You I Only Wanted You
Eternal Ink   The Other Side of the Door  When Tomorrow Starts Without Me   Don't Grieve
Now in Gods garden


Bits of Wisdom  The Power of Forgiveness   The Gift of True Friends 

Funshine Pages

When God Created Fathers   When I'm an Old Lady

Memorials to Other Friends 

Harold D Lawson Donor Mom's site

Helpful Resources  on Grief

Helpful Links About Grief  Coping With Death

Our youth are hurting, our families are grieving, our senior citizens are mourning.  The most vulnerable in our community need a place to turn.  None of us can escape the pain of grief and loss.  Our vision at 
THE LIGHTHOUSE FOR NEW HOPE  is to establish a facility that will be there for our community when loss occurs.


Learn about how  I believe the death of James and hundreds of others every year could have been prevented.

  IMPACT PROJECT....Fighting Against the Underride Tragedy


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