It’s a remarkable story of redemption and inspiration that began with one of the most despicable stories you can imagine.
Tona Herndon, 78, was laying flowers at the grave of her recently buried husband of 60 years when she was robbed by a thug who made off with her purse and about $700. But, as TheBlaze reported in September, the thug’s 15-year-old son, Christian Lunsford, recognized his father’s face as that of the mugger on the news, and actually gave back what he could.
“I had thought back to when he gave me some money around the same time this actually happened,” Lunsford said on the Glenn Beck Program Thursday, “and I realized…it was her money.”
Lunsford said his father, who has been in and out of jail for most of his life, had given him roughly $250 for a band trip he wanted to attend, but he knew he couldn’t keep it.
“I was raised by my stepfather and my mom – they’re great people and they raised me in a great Godly way – and I just felt like me being a Christian, like God was calling me to give the money back because it wasn’t mine,” he explained.
Lunsford added that he apologized to the woman for what had happened, and wanted to give back what was “more than likely” hers.
“She took it and then she gave it back, saying she wanted to help pay for my band trip,” Lunsford recalled with a smile. “She cared, thought that I was a great doing great things and she wanted those great things to keep happening.”
Lunsford said the story illustrates how “a lot of good happens; you just don’t see it.”
When Beck asked the young man why he isn’t following in his father’s footsteps, Lunsford demonstrated remarkable insight: “You aren’t who your parents are. You’re whoever you want to be. If that’s the path you want to take, you’re going to take it. And if it’s the path you don’t want to take, you’ll take your own; go do your own life’s desires.”
The teen also said that he hasn’t spoken to his father since the incident, but already knows that when he does, he will say that he forgives him.
“Even though it’s such a horrible thing, that I do forgive him for what he did, and so does she,” he remarked.