“An Act of Forgiveness” “If you are truly sorry.........I forgive you.”
A couple months ago while while browsing on the web for the news letter I ran across and article by Max Lucado about forgiveness and thought the New Year would be a good time to share it. You might remember the case in Dallas, TX. When in 1918, officer Amber Guyger, shot and killed Botham Jean, her unarmed black neighbor after stepping into his apartment and mistaking it for her own. She was sentenced to 10 years in state prison. I won't go into the details of the trial but after the punishment was announced, the courtroom scene took a surprising turn that was not readily reported by most of the media. Brandt Jean, Botham Jean's brother, stepped to the witness stand to deliver a victim-impact statement and offered forgiveness, citing his Christian faith. “If you are truly sorry,” he said. “I know I can speak for myself, I forgive you. I love you as a person, and I don't wish anything bad on you," Brandt went so far as to say that he didn’t want Guyger to face jail time. He also said “I think giving your life to Christ would be the best thing that Botham would want for you.” Then Brandt made an unusual request to the judge. Holding back tears, the 18-year-old asked "I don't know if this is possible, but can I give her a hug? Please?" The judge paused for a second then shocked the courtroom saying “Yes”. Amber hesitated for a second than ran toward Brandt and the two embraced in a dramatic and emotional spectacle, as sobs rang out. Judge Tammy Kemp also went to the defense table giving her a hug and speaking with her assuring her of God’s love, she gave Amber her personal Bible and said “This is your job for the next month. It says right here, John 3:16, and this is where you start.” Then the judge quoted the verse, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” The judge is now under fire for her kindness. A national atheist group, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, has filed a formal complaint with the State of Texas, stating that Kemp’s actions overstepped judicial authority. I really admire this judge for what she did, and as Christians we are going to have to be a little bolder in speaking up for our Constitutional Right to Religious Freedom before we lose it.. Bob W. “God will not let you go. The big news of the Bible is not that you love God but that God loves you! He tattooed your name on the palm of his hand. His thoughts of you outnumber the sand on the shore. You never leave his mind, escape his sight, flee his thoughts. You need not win his love. You already have it.
He sees the worst of you and loves you still. Your sins of tomorrow and failings of the future will not surprise him; he sees them now. Every day and deed of your life has passed before his eyes and been calculated in his decision. He knows you better than you know you and has reached this verdict– he loves you still!
No discovery will disillusion him. No rebellion will dissuade him. He loves you with an everlasting love. God’s love—never failing…never ending.” Max Lucado Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. Luke 23:34