Monday, September 19, 2011

Justice

Almost 18 months ago, my dad called me on the phone, crying. A good, honorable, upstanding man--one I had known since kindergarten-- had just been convicted of a very terrible crime. I was stunned. I was sitting in the parking lot of Office Depot, listening to my father tell me that he had actually been convicted. The fact that he had even been accused was shock enough, and although I knew his trial was ongoing, I had forgotten that it was the last day and that a verdict was forthcoming. As Dad told me, I just couldn't believe it. Ted was going to jail. He had taken me tubing, taught me Sunday School, and we had gone on family vacations together.

I often do not understand God's ways. Over the years I have seen many things happen that push my faith in knowing that God is good. All the time. This was another trial that I didn't understand. Many, many people have been praying for months and months that justice would finally be done.

Today, word finally came that it was. The State Supreme Court overturned his conviction and he should be home in the next week or two. Now I am the one crying, but it is with tears of happiness.

I still do not understand why this had to happen - why he had to spend so much time in prison and away from his family. I may never know. I do know that I had always grown up with a lot of trust in our justice system, and not very much compassion for prisoners. That has changed somewhat - for me and for most in the church I grew up in. I know that Ted himself, always a teacher, has done all he can to minister to other prisoners around him. He has continued to praise the Lord in the midst of this dark time, not growing bitter or losing faith. This attitude has been a witness to many more in the community who know him and love him.  I also am certain that God will continue to redeem this tragedy and use it for his glory.

Today, my heart sings with David in Psalm 103:

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit,who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.

Amen.

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