Granger Smith, 43, is a country music singer, songwriter, who also goes by the name of Earl Dribbles Jr. He had a number one hit in 2016, Backroad Song and another, If the Boot Fits, was a top ten hit in 2017.
In 2010, he married his wife, Amber. But in 2019, the family was struck with tragedy when their three-year-old son, River Kelly, drowned at the family home.
Amber, 40, recently share an Instagram Post of people who are still condemning and blaming her three years later for their son’s death.
It started after Amber commented on the post of another woman, whose child had also apparently died.
“All of us mamas who know this pain have been praying so hard for your family,” Amber wrote. “We are all rallying around you and are here for you. Light will come from the dark. He is working. Bless you for blessing others in your deepest hurt. Sending all our love.”
After she posted that comment, the condemnation about her son’s death started pouring in.
One poster wrote:
“This makes me soooooo mad! Why would you be such irresponsible parents?!? Teach babies to swim, fence the pool, PROTECT your children! This is your fault, you KILLED your win [sic] kid. Truly disgusting.”
Another commented in part:
“How did River drown? Why was he not being properly protected and supervised? Not my business, not trying to be cruel, but to have a beautiful baby drown, and then just have another kid, like …. oops sorry about that one, we just have another and replace him. How do you guys deal with knowing that his death was one hundred percent preventable?“
Amber responded with a screenshot of the comments, overlaid with the words from James 3:6: “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”
Then Amber added that it has taken three years to not let these comments hurt her adding that she has to forgive them.
“I can’t fault these people. We live in a fallen world. It’s taken me 3 years to not let these comments hurt me, but I forgive them. I am rooted in Jesus.”
As believers, we must forgive those who offend or hurt us. It is not an option.
Amber’s three-year journey of forgiveness, reminds me of the time that Peter came to Jesus asking how many times he needed to forgive his brother, seven times.
I am sure, Peter was patting himself on his back for being so generous in his dispensing of forgiveness. Because rabbis taught that a person only needed to forgive three times, based on a faulty interpretation of Amos 1:3. “For three transgressions, and for four.”
Peter was over double the moral obligation of the rabbis.
Jesus responded by stating that Peter needed to forgive seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22). Now Christ was not suggesting that there was a limit to how many times we needed to forgive, 490 times, what the Lord was saying is that there is no limit to how many times we needed to forgive.
It would be almost an impossible number to keep track of and if on the off chance, someone did, we would need to ask if the person had truly forgiven the 489 previous times.
But I think seventy times seven speaks of another issue.
You may have to forgive a person more than once for the same offense.
I still remember the time I was pulling into the driveway of our home late at night when my mind was flooded with a memory of an incident that had happened to me years early.
I was surprised because I had previously forgiven the person. I was unsure of what to do but felt at that moment, I needed to forgive the person one more time, for the same incident.
Because forgiveness is like an onion.
When you forgive, you pull off one layer, but other layers remain and at the right moment, the Holy Spirit will bring them to your remembrance for you to forgive again, removing the next layer.
This process will continue, till you have forgiven from your heart:
35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” (Matthew 18:35 ESV)