At age 10, Chris Carrier was kidnapped, stabbed with an ice pick, shot in the head and left for dead in the Florida Everglades. Over two decades later, when his attacker finally confessed, instead of seeking retribution, Carrier shared the Gospel.
Carrier shared how and why he forgave that man, whom he eventually led to Christ, at the Southern Baptist Convention's Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, on Tuesday.
In a video testimony shown as part of the North American Mission Board's "Who's Your One?" initiative — which calls on Southern Baptists to commit to pray for and share the Gospel with just one person who needs the salvation message of Jesus Christ — Carrier detailed the trauma he endured and the healing he received.
One Friday afternoon, as a 10-year-old Carrier got off the bus in Coral Gables, Florida, a stranger approached and told him that he was planning a party for his dad and he needed his help with the decorations. Carrier hopped into David McAllister’s RV and sat in the passenger seat as the man drove out of town.
McAllister then abruptly stopped the vehicle, pulled Carrier into the center of the RV, forced him onto his back and began stabbing him in the chest.
“He literally stood back up and said, ‘Son, I’m going to take you somewhere and I’m going to drop you off,’” Carrier recalled.
They wound up on a country road in the Everglades that was locally known as “Alligator Alley.”
The man forced Carrier to stand near a tree a short distance away. While Carrier was looking down at the ground, McAllister pulled out a gun and aimed it at Carrier’s left temple.
That was the last thing Carrier remembered before he awoke several days later.
His dad told him when he awoke: “Chris, you were kidnapped, you were shot through the head, and you were left to die in the Florida Everglades. And you were missing for six days.”
“It was very hard to see this new normal that I was going to have to contend with,” Carrier explains in the video.
The ordeal precipitated a transformation in him where he recognized how God spared his life, and He could be trusted.
Twenty-two years later, Carrier received a phone call from a police chief at the sheriff's department who found the man who had attempted to murder him and offered him the opportunity to meet McAllister face-to-face, which he accepted.
“This is the definition of awkward. What do you say to the guy who the last time you saw him tried to put a bullet through your head?” he asked.
When Carrier met McAllister in the nursing home where he was being cared for at the end of his life, he told him: “Mr. McAllister, I’d like you to know what’s really been the source of my strength through all of this,” and then he prayed with him.
That week of visiting McAllister left an impression, and so Carrier shared the Gospel with him as best as he could.
“I want you to know there’s nothing between you and me except our newfound friendship. I want you to know I forgive you,” Carried told him.
Though he was blind and physically weak, McAllister rolled over in his hospital bed and grabbed his hand as though he could see it and, through tears, said, “I’m sorry.”
McAllister then prayed to receive Christ.
Greeted with enthusiastic applause from the messengers in attendance, Carrier explained in a short interview after the video concluded that it was through the love of his family and the support of his church he was drawn into the power of the Gospel and it enabled him to see what happened to him “outside of first-person” and how God was redeeming it.
He recalled that when he received the phone call from police about meeting the man who nearly murdered him, he remembered thinking, “God, you set me up,” and that, all the while, the Lord had been cleansing his heart over the years for that reunion.
When asked what it was like to lead the man who shot him to Christ, Carrier described it as “awkward.”
“It was simply two men in the awkwardness of our reunion and newfound friendship, seeking the grace and the presence of God in that room,” he said.
The annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention began Tuesday and will conclude Wednesday evening.