we still remember mitch hedberg

A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

Apr 20th 2008

Ephesians 4:32

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

The following story personifies the scripture:

Tech QB deals with guilt, gratitude
Walk-on Bryce Dykes involved in fatal car accident one year ago

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 04/21/08

In Georgia Tech’s first intra-squad football scrimmage, walk-on quarterback Bryce Dykes escaped the pocket, got hit and lost his helmet. He plowed on nonetheless, gaining 15 yards and even more in respect from his peers.

It was one of the rare moments in the past year that Dykes was lost in something other than grief.

Recently, he was in a Gwinnett County courtroom, accepting two years’ probation for his role in an auto crash that killed Linda Lin Zhu, 40.

Since that night, March 9, 2007, Dykes, 19, a National Honor Society student from Norcross, has suffered guilt, depression and doubts about his future — which brightened when the victim’s husband forgave him during an emotional courtroom scene.

“At times, it’s been really hard to get through,” Dykes said after a recent Tech practice. “It’s something that always will be there with me. I’m not going to just forget.”

Swiftly, sadness shrouded his face. “But the Zhu family,” Dykes said, looking away, “it’s something they live with every day, too. More than me.”

At the Gwinnett Arena last year, Dykes and a group of friends were among dozens of Norcross High School students who painted their faces blue and cheered wildly as their classmates captured their second straight AAAAA boys state basketball championship.

Not far away, at First Chinese Christian Church in Norcross, the Rev. Michael Zhu was wrapping up a service with his congregation.

Later, the Rev. Zhu, wife Linda and two other friends headed home; Dykes and two friends were en route to school for a post-championship celebration. At the intersection of Peachtree Industrial and South Berkeley Lake Road, they came together.


Dykes’ Jeep Cherokee struck the rear of the Rev. Zhu’s Nissan Altima. Linda Zhu, who was riding in the back seat, was rushed to Atlanta Medical Center. She died.

“Two joyous evenings coming together in a horrible way,” said Drew Findling, the lawyer representing Dykes. “Just minutes before, both parties were celebrating.”

Dykes was charged on March 30, 2007, with homicide by vehicle in the second degree. There was no evidence of speeding, alcohol or drug use. An investigation determined he was following too closely. Dykes eventually pleaded guilty to reckless driving.

He and his family asked permission to attend the wake of Linda Lin Zhu. The Rev. Zhu agreed. At the viewing, the Rev. Zhu embraced Dykes, who wept.

The two men came together once more at the sentencing hearing.

Dykes, crying the entire time, addressed the Zhu family, apologizing for his actions while asking for forgiveness.

“It’s the most emotional thing I’ve ever seen in 23 years of doing this,” said Findling, the lawyer. “That one hour captured the emotions of everyone there: the judge, deputies … It was draining for everyone.”

The Rev. Zhu had already planned to ask the judge for leniency toward Dykes. “That is the attitude I have in this life,” he said. “It’s my philosophy on the way to live.”

The Rev. Zhu said he was made aware by his lawyer and others that Dykes is “a good kid, good football player” and National Honors Society member. “And I saw that he was a good person because he didn’t hit and run. And he was very honest,” the Rev. Zhu said.

“When he spoke, he was crying. He was sincere. I knew it. He was very sorry and regretful. Also, as a parent of a 16-year-old [son], it was very easy for me to put myself in his parents’ shoes.

“I told the judge: ‘There should be a balance. We should keep the integrity of the law. But we also should teach.’ ”

Judge Randy Rich agreed. As part of the reckless driving plea, Dykes is on probation and is required to speak to youths about the necessity of being safe drivers.

The Rev. Zhu’s kindness and mercy have astonished the Dykes household.

“An amazing man,” said Darryl Dykes, Bryce’s father. “I just can’t imagine the excruciating pain he has been in, and yet he has allowed us and Bryce to express our regret and sorrow. As hard as it has been for us, I know it has by far been hardest on him and his family. And I just could not imagine being as gracious as he has been with us.”

Said Bryce Dykes, whose parents are Tech graduates: “Their family was a lot more receptive than I would have been. They were gracious and merciful. It was surprising, but Reverend Zhu is a great man.”

The Rev. Zhu said he is behaving the way he thinks his wife would want.

“Everybody makes mistakes,” he said. “Hating doesn’t help. Hating cannot bring Linda back to life. It’s most important how you deal with it and provide a future for the living ones. My wife would do the same thing. If I meet her in heaven, she will say I did the right thing.”

6 Responses to “Ephesians 4:32”

  1. Steve

    Beautiful story. Rev. Zhu sets an example for all.

    But I am “haunted” by the last sentence in the article. Assuming he was quoted correctly, “If I meet her in heaven…”. One of you ought to contact him with the rest of the story.

  2. doug


    Great point.

    I would guess that he was misquoted or misspoke, and really said “When I meet her in heaven…” Or, maybe Chinese has a different if/when conditional type declaration where you use “if” even if “when” is more appropriate in the English context?

  3. travis

    i took his comment more as a remark of a humble believer, who doesn’t want to assume his own worthiness to enter heaven.

    then again, the statement may have come from a sincere belief in the limitations of the traditional christian doctrine regarding marriage; certainly a knowledge that he can take steps now to be with his wife forever would be comforting to him, as it is to me.

    i will see if i can contact him and share my testimony with him. thanks for the very apropos suggestion.

  4. doug

    Good point, Travis.

  5. Al

    Excellent point. Great story. It really is a wonderful thing to here about those kinds of acts today.

  6. Jackie

    I can’t believe you guys actually post things like this. By the way, Rev. Zhu is my dad… I heard about this article in AJC but I never read it. When I googled it, this was one of the first ones. It’s nice to see people care.