Pastor Kevin Ramsby never expected to be the victim of a violent crime, but he has made peace with the situation and forgiven the man who accosted him and stabbed him 37 times.
Ramsby was at home in 2011 when 41-year-old Wesley McLemore broke into his home and stabbed him 37 times. He spent several months in therapy and worked hard to regain his life; Ramsby soon stood in the pulpit at the Revival Tabernacle in Michigan, much to the joy and relief of his parishioners.
"It's been a journey, and I've been more concentrated on kind of focusing on the good that's coming out of it all," Ramsby told WXYZ News. "They called my wife [that day], saying she needed to get here because they did not think I was going to be making it."
Fortunately, he did survive and now McLemore will stand trial in Michigan after being arrested in Alabama. Ramsby has requested to speak with McLemore, should the inmate agree.
"It's been long awaited, and I'm glad it's here," he said of the trial. "Today I signed that I would, and asked and requested that if I could have an opportunity to sit down with him and speak with him I would want to if he would be willing."
There's no word yet of McLemore's answer, or whether the two men will actually have the opportunity to discuss what happened, but Ramsby is certain about his feelings on the situation.
"God's hand was definitely upon it. I've been forgiven much in my life. So for me, it's not too hard to forgive others when you've been forgiven yourself," Ramsby said.
Ramsby has offered to help McLemore in any way possible and continually sends him letters in prison. He said that forgiveness is a "day-to-day process" and that every letter helps.
What also helps is knowing that his home is now the home of four young men who needed some direction and guidance in their lives. Ramsby hopes that he can help prevent them from committing the same type of crime he was subjected to. He is also working to turn a nearby bookstore into a place of ministry for young men.
"It's an organization that's going to be focusing on trying to bring hope to the community of Highland Park and working with men, maybe like my attacker," Ramsby said.