I will not tell his story. It's not my story to tell. I know that he has hurt many people with his crime.
As a society, we have cast our stones of judgement towards him.
We assume that he is unreedeemable. Unforgiveable. We toss him out like yesterday's trash.
He is that person on the bottom rung of life. The one with the face full of dirt and the mouth full of mud.
His crime touched my life in a very personal way. It hurt me. Very deeply. It caused me to look at people, at men, in a different way.
For many years, I tip toed between anger and forgiveness....anger and forgiveness...anger would usually win......until recently...
Despite the anger, I could still see a human face staring between the prison walls. Not a monster. Not a beast. But a person. Needing love. Worthy of forgivenes. A human soul.
When we learn to lay down our anger, we find our roots.
I can see how sin takes its root in us,,,even when we are children. Our sin affects children.
Our angry, bitter words plant seeds of darkness in their hearts.
They imitate what they see. Sometimes they grow up to be criminals. Not to excuse the behaviour...but to cast some light....
Our anger, our sin...our bad and negative example, plants seeds of darkness. Our lies. Our sins stretch out thier roots and nestle inside the children exposed to them.
Darkness breeds darkness breeds darkness breeds darkness...a cycle.....
I know this man had significant seeds of darkness planted in him as a child. He saw things that no child should have seen.
He planted his own seeds of darkness and they grew into mammoths. I know that we all have a choice...but I also know that sometimes it seems, where love and light are lacking, those seeds of darkness grow deep. They grow deep and they spring into action.
I think about the victims of his crimes. I hurt for thier sadness. I cringe at how that darkness has taken root in thier own lives. Darkness spreads. It grows.
I used to think that the darkness would always win. I thought that certain situations looked impossible. That the cords of complexity were wound too tight.
Because I could always see it growing and manifesting itself as chaos in so many lives.
I knew of the One true Hope, Jesus, but I never saw the roots of Light branching out.
Now, I know why.
I wasn't spreading it. In order to see changes, significant changes, we have to take the Light we have been given, as Christians, and spread it around.
Throw it like seeds on the dry, dusty grounds of chaos....Ask God to water those seeds, and they will grow. The seeds will turn that dry dusty ground into a ripe vineyard. A harvest.
Before we know it, changes will occur that we never thought possible. But the light has to be spread.
As I was thining on the victims of crime, I considered how hard...how extraordinarily difficult...it would be to forgive certain crimes.
I think about the families of murder victims.... How hard would it be to forgive?
It has taken me years and years to forgive lesser crimes. I can't imagine and I know that I, as a human, could not do it. The pain would be too great. The loss to unimaginable.
But I know that through God, all things are possible. Only through the Divine could I even get to the point where I wanted to forgive.
Our hurt. Our anger gives us something to hold onto in the midst of all of the loss.
I had to let go of many many things that weren't easy. Even now, there are some days when I struggle with some things. But when I truly learned to "let go" a true beauty and innocence found it's way into my life.
It was only given by a Man. Jesus.
Only in the letting go, did my roots begin to grow.
It is only when we lay down our anger, that we can begin to find our roots...that place of light where love is deep...and good things grow.
My prayer today is for the victims of crimes....