One evening last year, Person “A” made some of the very worst decisions a person could ever make and killed Person “B.” If you didn’t know anything else, what would your thoughts be? The following details will start to reveal the exact case, but just pretend like you had no prior knowledge of any of this. What if you learned that Person “A” was a woman and Person “B” was a man? What if you learned that “A” was a police officer and “B” was not? Would that change your evaluation? What if you learned that “A” was Caucasian and “B” was African American? Would that automatically change your perception? If learning more details about Person “A” and Person “B” changes your initial evaluation of the situation, that actually reveals more about you than it does about “A” or “B” or the situation.
All too often we allow factors that don’t truly matter (in the eternal perspective) to color our judgment. May God help us to learn a lesson from the events that followed this horrible and tragic night.
Person “A” was convicted of murder 13 months later. During the victim impact testimony that followed the conviction, the brother of Person “B” (who had been murdered by Person “A”) took the stand. His name is Brandt Jean. What would you say to the person who killed your brother? Read his words carefully and prayerfully: “I hope you go to God…If you truly are sorry, I speak for myself, I forgive you, and I know if you go to God and ask Him, He will forgive you…I love you just like anyone else…I personally want the best for you…And the best would be to give your life to Christ…Again, I love you as a person, and I don’t wish anything bad on you…I don’t know if this is possible, but can I give her a hug, please?”
Would it matter to your personal evaluation to know that Brandt Jean is an African American man, speaking to Person “A,” who is Caucasian woman and was a police officer at the time of the murder? Thank you, Brandt, for reminding us that a soul is more important than our pain and our anger! Thank you, Brandt, for reminding us that salvation is more important than justice! Thank you, Brandt, for reminding us that Christian love does not know hate or racial boundaries! Thank you, Brandt, for reminding us that Christian kindness looks beyond wrongs that have been suffered! Thank you, Brandt, for reminding us that Christian forgiveness is not optional, even when our heart is broken! Thank you, Brandt, for reminding us what Christ would have us to do when everyone else wants us to focus on hate and skin color! Thank you, Brandt, for reminding us how we should all be acting! Thank you, Brandt, for showing the world what a Christian looks like! Let us all focus on what truly, eternally matters!