‘There’s power in forgiveness’: Man walking from Columbus to Cleveland to spread message

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HINCKLEY, Ohio-- He calls himself 'The Forgiveness Doctor' and he is nearing the end of an inspirational journey.  A pastor from Columbus is walking from Columbus to Cleveland to promote the need for forgiveness.

Fox 8 caught up with Reverend Doctor Johannes Christian in the Medina County town of Hinckley, Monday evening. He said he left his home in Columbus at 7:00 Saturday morning, walking to Cleveland to promote forgiveness.

"I wanted to raise the visibility and sometimes you have to step outside the box,” Christian said.

In July 2001, Dr. Christian was driving on Interstate 70 between Dayton and Springfield when a teenager tossed a huge rock over a highway overpass, smashing his windshield.

"It literally hit from up here all the way down to the top of my mouth and so everything you see right now is all plastic surgery. There were 30 some surgeries to put me back together," he said.

The accident left Christian totally blind.  The teen who threw the rock was sentenced to 12 years behind bars.

But, Dr. Christian said he forgives the person who drastically altered his life. He wrote letters to him, visited him behind bars, and helped him get into college.

"People think that when you forgive somebody, it's for the person who did you wrong, but I believe that it's more for the person who got hurt, who's been victimized," said Dr. Christian.

Dr. Christian said he is walking to Cleveland to promote a National Day of Forgiveness Rally in August. The rally includes eight cities including Cleveland.  He has teamed up with a local organization to talk about anti-bullying and spread the message of forgiveness.

"I believe that there's power in forgiveness. The more I forgave Jacob, the easier it became for me," he said.

Dr. Christian will hold an anti-bullying/forgiveness rally at the Family Ministry Center on Fulton Road on Tuesday.

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