I have to admit, I've been watching the Casey Anthony case for the last month. I had strong opinions about her guilt or innocence and having stood before a judge and a room full of people angry and filled with disdain to say the least toward me personally, I had some idea how it feels to be "judged" by strangers.
As the trial progressed I was sure she was guilty and I was sure she would be convicted; I also became, like many, convinced she would face the death penalty.
But I had other thoughts as well. I wondered about her salvation, about whether she was being ministered to and whether she was getting the loving support of Christians who could look past her actions (or alleged actions) to tell her the Good News of her Lord and Savior. Had she faced the outcome of lethal injection, I DID wonder, who is considering her afterlife and her reconciliation with God.
And even today I wonder who is talking to her about her relationship with Jesus Christ.
Despite the actions of our lives, we all fall short of the grace and glory of God. And each and every one of us, in little and big ways have sinned in the eyes of a purely just and righteous God. In the passion of the headlines and the opinions we form based on news and what we believe our knowledge to be, we often forget that the ultimate questions aren't in this life and in our behaviors as much as our ultimate relationship with Jesus.
I avoid most posts about current events. I focus on the ladies that we have served and those I meet as I walk into the TDCJ units. I focus on the ladies I can talk with and share my story with that I hope provides hope and a new look at life as it relates to a life "in Christ". But this case brought home many emotions in me that I wanted to share; I have been judged and not liked due to my crimes. I still feel the sting of how my crimes were catagorized and the outcomes today. I still cannot practice my profession and its still up in the air if I ever will be able to do so. But I am not the person I was then and I have in my life someone who overshadows all that the world has to say about me. I rejoice in that.
More than what we think about any case or person we see on the news, the outrage over their actions, the disgust that we somehow are "above" that action or person; we need to remember that we are sinners. All. Sin lies deep in each of us and none of us will avoid standing before the Lord.
No matter what you think about this case or others; remember that our right standing with God is what comes first. Focusing on our own relationship with Christ will help us deal in a gentler manner with others. I am reminded of a famous tele-evangelist saying "We aren't called to judge anyone; we are called to love."
Yes, I agree the heinous acts of some make it hard to "love them" and to find sympathy but if we hope to find ourselves standing before the Lord with more than negatives on our list of "things to discuss" we might want to summon up some emotion outside of hate, rage and anger toward others. I may still believe Ms. Anthony guilty of her crimes but I am reminded of God's words...."'Vengeance is mine,'saith the Lord." I must leave it in His hands and focus on me and my relationship with Him. I have to sigh, then look to Him. Heavenly Father, I ask only for peace and for all hearts that need your love be filled to the full. In Jesus name, Amen.