Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What to feel?

As I wrote the other day, I have avoided, with that one exception, even indirect reference to the trial. Unfortunately, when you are the priest sitting in a room when someone quotes the Bible, more than a few people are going to be asking, "Father, what did you think?"

My first response was a moment of disbelief, soon followed by anger. I then spent the better part of the evening analyzing that feeling. Was it simply me being defensive of a friend or was there something deeper?

Firstly, I always hate when scripture is just misquoted.

The text is Luke 12:48b and reads

From everyone to whom much is given, much will be expected.

The implication by Michael Dry was clearly since Jonnie had given much he would expect much.

Luke is explaining to us the appropriate response to the superabundance of God's generosity. The fundamental problem here is that Jonnie Williams is not God.

Throughout the trial I have cautioned friends not to vilify the prosecutors. They too are God's children. And perhaps I am naive but, I believe that they believe they are doing right. Each day I include Mike, Jessica, Ryan and David in my prayers.

Also, I don't know any Christian who hasn't at some point made the mistake of going through the Bible searching for a scripture verse to justify their position.

I would say respond with

Father forgive them for they know not what they do

But Michael knows that Jonnie is not God. And I believe that Michael knows the real meaning of that Bible verse. He was simply trying to be clever. He needed a big finish, and he made an inappropriate decision to misuse to the Bible to do it. I wonder if he even realized that he was doing so in front of a judge who holds a Master of Divinity from Howard University.

As I sit here praying this morning, I am no longer angry about what he did. If I had to describe it, I would say that Michael Dry's decision to use the Bible verse was sad. I can't help but wonder what it was, as he looked over all of the millions of documents and options, that made him decide that clever was the best he had to offer.

Let us all avoid anger and pray that this will all be over soon.