Light Shining Bright
(Photo from Dallas Morning News, Tom Fox / Staff Photographer)
Probably you saw this in the news in the past week. Remember that unfortunate shooting in Dallas, where an off duty police officer shot and killed a young man in his own apartment, because she was in the wrong apartment thinking it was her's?
According to reports, Amber Guyger wrongfully shot and killed Botham Jean, who was a member of the Dallas West church of Christ. Well, she was convicted of murder and sentenced to prison, but it's what happened in the court room that motivates today's thoughts.
Jean's brother, Brandt while speaking at the sentencing said "I forgive you", and even expressed a wish that she would not have to go to jail. Then, Brandt asked the judge for permission to give Guyger a hug. That of course blew up all over the internet, and on video and TV news reports throughout the world.
This young Christian man said, "I wasn’t going to say this in front of my family or anyone, but I don't even want you to go to jail"..."I want the best for you, because I know that's what Botham would want...and the best would be to give your life to Christ. I love you as a person, and I don't wish anything bad on you."
This from the heart of a young man, who lost his brother to a tragic event, who obviously was still hurting in the recent loss of a family member, yet was able to cut through all emotions, hurt and pain and let his light shine before men. In our otherwise self-serving, politically correct, unforgiving society these days, his light was shining bright for the world to see, and for once, the reporters didn't hide it under a bowl.
In addition to the kind words and forgiving heart of Jean's brother, the judge reacted to the whole situation by going into her chambers, and returning with a Bible and giving it to Guyger. That too, a moment in history seldom witnessed anymore, and one that also even got press coverage.
Hopefully, these combined acts of forgiveness, kindness and expressions of love will have lasting effects on the minds of others. Hopefully, Mrs. Guyger will be affected in ways that lead her to Christ. But regardless of what may be, we are thankful to God for what was, for a moment anyway, true Christian forgiveness on display for the whole world to see.
Now, using the words of Jesus Christ from His famous parable of The Good Samaritan, a story about showing love and mercy, our job is to "Go and do likewise." (Luke 10:37)