by Melissa Brunner
A family who have experienced unthinkable tragedy showed us again Friday what it means to have faith.
Dustin Leftwich was sentenced to life in prison for the May 2012 murder of 18-year-old Brenna Morgart. Brenna had graduated from Seaman High School less than a week earlier. She went out for a jog and never returned. In the days and weeks that followed, we heard stories of her kindness toward others and her deep faith in God. To this day, I see vehicles bearing the letters WWBD - What would Brenna do?
Who could possibly forgive the person who stole so much from them? In court Friday, Brenna's family did. Her father extended condolences to the Leftwich family for THEIR loss - a son who would die in prison. He also said that Brenna would want Leftwich to know that no sin is unforgivable, so long as one seeks forgiveness from God.
What a tribute to the spirit of a life lost much too soon.
I wanted to share with you again a blog I wrote May 30, 2012, following Brenna's funeral. It brought great response from many of you and the message of her life is worth repeating.
From May 30, 2012:
If your life was a ripple, traveling across the water, how far might it extend?
I thought about that this morning as I saw the vehicles packed along the frontage roads, parking lots and grassy fields around Northland Christian Church Wednesday morning. Did Brenna Morgart have any idea that, at the age of 18, her life would have had that much of an impact? Did she realize each smile, each hello, each kind word, would leave an impression on the recipient? Did she ever think her ability to remain positive in the face of adversity would have those left behind asking, "WWBD - What Would Brenna Do?" when deciding how they will move forward in the face of this tragedy?
It reminds me of that commercial where someone holds the door for a person, then that person helps another pick up their dropped papers, then that person helps the neighbor rake leaves, and so on. We have no idea how those small interactions each day make an impact on those we encounter.
It's evident from the outpouring of love and support we've seen over the past week that Brenna's ripple was more like a wave, reaching beyond the boundaries of the shore.