It broke my heart.
There it was plastered across the whole front page of the local paper.
No, it wasn’t news to me. I’ve known about it from the beginning.
I already knew the outcome.
But it all became absolutely, totally real as I read this article.
You see, this isn’t just another face.
This face belongs in the family of one of my dearest friends.
It’s amazing the difference in our perspective when a face has a name and a family.
I’m not sure I’ve ever really thought much about the families of others
who have been reported in the newspaper.
That’s a shame, isn’t it?
What about you?
Do you ever consider the aching hearts?
Every person who’s been convicted of any crime has a family.
And that family aches because of that person’s actions.
The judge in this case made the comment that the defendant must be a good man.
That probably sent some of you into orbit.
How can “that” man be a “good” man?
The truth is that none of us are “good.”
NO, NOT ONE!
This man had a “secret sin.”
How about you?
What are you doing in secret that would destroy your world if it was discovered?
So many times we think we can just live any old way we want to and it doesn’t matter.
We tell ourselves that our sin doesn’t hurt anyone but me.
That is always untrue.
SIN’S CONSEQUENCES REACH INTO PLACES WE COULD NEVER IMAGINE.
The repercussions of this man’s decisions made quite a while ago
will follow him and his family for the rest of their earthly lives.
What sin do you need to confess and possibly get help with?
If he had asked for help, many lives would be different today.
Don’t be concerned about what people might think.
Someone will listen.
Someone will help you.
Get that help NOW!
He has been and will continue to be incarcerated for his crime.
This will be a chunk of time he can never recover with his young family.
But there are consequences when we choose the wrong path.
He understands that.
He recognizes the cost.
To the world, his life seems to be over.
How can anything good ever possibly come from this situation?
It will be a difficult journey,
but God is at work.
God is at work in his life.
God is at work in the lives of his family.
God is at work in the lives of his friends.
God is at work in the lives of those who find their consciences pricked by all this.
He is truly repentant of his misdeeds.
He has made peace with God.
And God has forgiven him.
Forgiveness doesn’t remove consequences,
but it allows us to find peace.
Do you need the peace that only comes from our forgiving Father?
I believe God will grow him up as he walks this difficult journey.
I believe one day God will allow him to use his sin,
his spiritual growth,
to reach into the lives of others who struggle with a “secret sin.”
Thank You, Father, for taking our messes and redeeming them for Your glory.
Maybe you could lift a few prayers to the throne room of grace for this man and his family.
After all, we all need grace!
Lots of love,