User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


59° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

KELOLAND.com | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Walking The Road To Forgiveness

January 22, 2014, 10:00 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Walking The Road To Forgiveness
BRITTON, SD -

It's a story covering frustration, forgiveness and plenty in between.

More than four years ago a driver hit David Christenson as he was walking on a Britton street. That driver drove away and still hasn't come forward to claim responsibility for Christenson's injuries.

"It's still a matter of disappointment that it all happened and nobody's come forward," Christenson said.

Unanswered questions still linger, but Christenson doesn't want his mind stuck on the hit-and-run forever.

"Every day is a challenge just like for anybody else but sometimes you just have to recognize the fact that you need to move forward," Christenson said.

For Christenson that means moving forward from November 2009 when he finished dining out with family and started walking home. Close to a half hour later, a passerby reported a man lying in the street.

Investigators say a vehicle hit Christenson from behind. The driver didn't stop to help. Instead it may have been more than 20 minutes before someone found him.

Christenson's family didn't know whether he'd survive as emergency responders rushed him to the local emergency room and then to a Fargo hospital.

His recovery since that night has been gradual. We spoke with him and his wife Gretchen a year after the crash. Christenson was back to work by then. Some breaks and fractures had healed. But he'll tell you now, he still needed to work through a lot of things.

"It was something that took a long time and I was unable to do it on my own," Christenson said.

A little less than a year ago, more than three years after the hit-and-run, Christenson was at a weekly Bible study with Pastor Kevin Koop and others. He brought a folder with pictures of himself lying on the street after he’d been hit, but he left the folder in his vehicle.

The group started discussing the topic of forgiveness and Koop says Christenson left the room and came back with a folder.

“It was really a powerful moment when he opened it up and said, ‘You know I've been holding onto this for a few years now, these pictures. And they're pictures of me after the accident where I'm laying in a pool of blood,'" Koop said.

"I told them, ‘I am failing at being able to move forward, to forgive,’ and I was asking for their help. So all of us there that morning, we prayed together and it was a very powerful moment," Christenson said.

It was also an important moment for Christenson, who says bitterness and holding a grudge would only have caused more harm to him.

He wants others to learn through his experiences.

As he recovered from the hit-and-run, he marked the stages of his recovery on Facebook. After family and friends encouraged him to write a book, he decided to compile the notes he'd written over four years and publish them.

He says you'll find spelling errors and improper grammar in the book because he took the posts from Facebook exactly as he had written them when he was recovering from his head injury.

"I started making notes to change that. Then I realized- ‘no, I want people to realize how I was functioning through the whole process,’" Christenson said.

He also wants people to know what it took to get from where he was, to where he is today. He says family, friends and faith were key factors in his road to forgiveness. He also hopes his book will challenge readers.

"I want to make them think about anything and everything. Whether it's their faith, how they're dealing with their friends and neighbors or people they don't really care for, don't like, I want to make them think," Christenson said.

The book takes readers back to a Britton street in 2009, but Christenson says it's important for him to move beyond it.

Christenson says he's very appreciative of the emergency responders who helped save his life after the crash. He's donating a portion of the book's proceeds to a campaign which will fund a new ambulance garage.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments







 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View featured stories

You may also like

No Easy Answers

7/28/2014 10:15 PM

From addiction to homelessness, mental illness and criminal activity, evidence that Sioux Falls has a bigger issue on its hands is front and center, r...

Full Story | Watch
Easter Miracle

7/30/2014 9:55 PM

A South Dakota motorcyclist critically injured in an Easter Sunday crash is calling his recovery part miraculous and part stubbornness.

Full Story | Watch
Handing Down A Family Tradition

7/27/2014 10:19 PM

America offers a number of pastimes, but golf has been a part of Glenn Anderson's life since childhood.

Full Story | Watch
The Final Countdown

7/29/2014 10:00 PM

The Denny Sanford Premier Center is nearing completion. It's been years in the making, but soon the $117 million event center will open its d...

Full Story | Watch
Ready To Start The School Year

7/31/2014 10:00 PM

The hallways and playgrounds are empty at Freedom Elementary in Harrisburg, but inside these classrooms, 30 children are getting ready to become kinde...

Full Story | Watch


Events