Wednesday, September 12, 2012

trial and prayer

Well, I'm all immersed in preparing for a trial.  They come along so infrequently that they tend up to take up my whole life for a couple of weeks.  So all I've got floating around in my head right now are social-justice type issues...

Like the mentally ill guy who got sentenced to 40 years to life for murdering someone.  How can we treat someone who cannot choose between right and wrong or cannot control his actions the same way we treat criminals?  What will his life be like in prison, where he'll be with people who will not respect his human dignity and who will likely prey on his vulnerabilities?  Heartbreaking.

Or how in the world can I participate in a system that dehumanizes people the minute they're accused of a crime?  How can I watch another person being treated without dignity in a way that doesn't even begin to bring healing and restoration into the midst of everyone's pain?

Some days, it's really hard to figure out what being a believer, a person of faith, a person whose primary allegiance is to the Kingdom of God, looks like in this place.  What is my responsibility to the mentally ill criminals in my community?  Is what I'm doing as an attorney contributing to injustice or fighting it?  What would God have me do, right now, today?

Just taking it one day at a time and praying that God's Kingdom would come and his will would be done here.


  1. One of my teens was jailed years ago for actions he shouldn't have done. He had been the victim of abuse, and acted on his historical experience. Jail wasn't the answer for someone with his needs. I fought the system, got him into a specialized group home where he got the help he needed to turn his life around. Today he is a productive, wonderful Christian husband and father. Wonder what would have happened if no one advocated for him??

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I am always encouraged to hear when "the system" can flex when it needs to. We so often (and so quickly) give up on people who have made mistakes. It is heartbreaking to see that attitude come from the people of God, who have experienced so much grace and mercy ourselves. It is a constant challenge to see people through the eyes of Christ instead of being jaded and losing hope.