A church congregation in West Virginia is a model for forgiveness that others can gain inspiration from after a statue of Jesus, which was in the front of their church, was vandalized by being shot in the head.
Pastor Bobby Adkins, 59, stated that the bullet hole was discovered on Dec. 18 as parishioners were entering Lundale Free Will Baptist Church just before the church's annual Christmas celebration, according to WSAZ.
Adkins was not sure when the shooting occurred but was thankful no one was injured.
"If you look out this window, the statue is right there and if the bullet had missed the statue, it could have come through this window where little children sit."
As reported by the Charleston Daily Mail the 6-foot cement statue was hit near the top of the forehead and from the hole that was left appeared to be fired from a small caliber gun such as a 22-caliber rifle.
"We were all just astonished that someone would do that," Adkins said. "Nobody's mad about it, but we're hoping and praying the person who did it will come forward so we can pray with them and for them and forgive them for what they've done."
Adkins said law enforcement has not been contacted and he does not plan on filing charges. He only wants the chance to sit down and talk with the shooter.
"I want whoever did this to know this church is based on love and forgiveness and that we will forgive them for this," Adkins said. "That's how the church stands on this."
The statue was donated to the church about five or six years ago by Buddy Ellis of Ellis Supply, according to WSAZ.
The teen Sunday school class and Vacation Bible School children spent four days last July repainting the statue and moving it to a new cement base. Adkins stated that the kids were very proud of it.
The church received the statue as a gift two years ago. "They spent four days out here removing the old paint and painting it new by hand," Adkins said.