After suffering an
a Unity minister finds his
way to peace, compassion,
and forgiveness—and then
develops a process to
help others do
By Annie L. Scholl
In February 1971, five months before graduating from the University of New Mexico School of Law,
David McArthur came home to find his
11-month-old daughter Lisa alone in
the house. His wife Kathy was nowhere
to be found.
“I couldn’t conceive of any scenario
where she would leave the baby,”
About four days later, McArthur
learned his wife had been murdered.
A young man they knew had shot her
and buried her body in the mountains.
Suddenly McArthur became both
a grieving husband and a single
parent—a job he was not prepared for.
“That really took a hold of me,” recalls
McArthur, now 73. “The places I could
have gone to act out the pain and the self-
destructive behaviors weren’t available to
me because I had to care for my little girl.
And so it held me in that place where I
He wrestled with what seemed like
perfectly justifiable anger and hatred,
He was aware there was
“something greater.” But
even so, the concept that God
was good seemed an enormous
stretch under the circumstances.
In an anguished prayer, he
pleaded for help.
About a month later, just after
Lisa’s first birthday, McArthur was
playing on the floor with his daughter.
He moved to the couch and watched
Lisa continue to giggle and play. He
realized his daughter was reaching out
for something—or, McArthur believes,
someone: her mother.
As he watched Lisa laughingly go
through the movements he had so often
witnessed between mother and daughter,
McArthur says he felt his heart open and
expand. The love he felt was so powerful
it overwhelmed him, filling not only his
mind and his heart, but also every cell in
his body. An indescribable, blissful ecstasy