September 6th, 2018, Amber stepped into her apartment. Strange sounds filled the house alerting her of an intruder.
A stranger appeared. She pulled the trigger and silenced 26 year old Jean forever before realising she was in his apartment and not hers.
A year later, Amber was convicted of murder and sentenced to ten years in prison.
A decade is really a long time for this off duty patrol officer in Dallas.
In Nigeria, one would probably say a ten year old child is matured to go on errands.
So Amber will be locked behind bars from now till 2029.
What a tragic experience to happen to someone out of what I perceive as negligence.
Which bring me to this point:
Forgiveness Made Flesh
In court, late Jeans’ younger brother, Brandt was allowed to give a victim-impact statement. His words lit up the court room and questioned my concept of love.
You can read them here for yourself before watching the video:
I can’t speak for myself.
I forgive you.
I know if you go to God and ask Him,
He will forgive you.
I’m speaking for myself
But I love you just like anyone else.
And I’m not going to say I hope you rot and die just like my brother did.
But I only want the best for you.
I wasn’t ever going to say this in front of my family or anyone.
But I don’t even want you to go to jail.
I want the best for you because that’s exactly what both would want you to do.
And the best would be to give your life to Christ.
I’m not saying anything else.
I think giving your life to Christ would be the best thing for you.
Again I love you as a person.
And I don’t wish anything bad on you.
I don’t know if this is possible,
Can I give her a hug please?
I watched him rise, leave his seat, take steps to the woman who murdered his brother, and hugged her tightly.
A pure display of love that had no strings attached.
It wasn’t a show. Both cried in each other’s arms, and I cried as well. Typing this still opens my tear ducts.
Do people like Brandt exist in this wicked world?
How do you offer quick forgiveness, and love to the very person who murdered your brother?
And he also preached Christ to her in court. No Bible. Just plain words.
What would I have done if my only brother was murdered? God forbid.
That’s even too far.
I’ll share what I did when my first boyfriend left me.
Ready? Let’s go.
I was in agony. I was zapped by an unimaginable wave of emotional pain. I did what every girl who was genuinely in love with her first man would do.
Yes, I cried him an ocean. The memory of three years was a bullet. It whizzed by and spooked me, leaving me torn open and left in pieces.
I was in the University at the time.
My friends sought the length and breadth of the earth for sound wisdom to sink into my mind. One midnight, I stole into the bathroom, stripped, held a Bible, and prayed to God to pay my ex-lover in the same coin. I told God to let him meet a woman who would hurt him the same way he hurt me, and even more.
But Brandt wouldn’t do such.
I could have trusted God to use the breakup for His glory. I could have recognised the breakup was meant to favour me.
Today, brother is in a thriving relationship. The last time I checked his Facebook wall, I saw the image of his girlfriend as his cover picture.
Did it hurt?
Eight years ago is a long time. Faith has grown. And I know better.
Nigerian movies don’t feed my mind with junks anymore.
Here’s what a Facebook friend, Ebenezer, whom I call Mr Handsome, wrote on his Facebook wall three days ago:
“If you have been hurt recently, pray for the strength and honesty to approach the offender and say, you did this and it hurt me. But I love you and I refuse to allow this destroy our relationship.”
I still communicate with my ex whenever he calls.
No time to form what’s not.
Forgiveness will not always be easy.
Forgiveness will not always make sense.
Some sins committed against you maybe too grievous to forgive, let alone forget.
But you weren’t called to take the path of least resistance.
You plunge into God’s will even when your eyes are blurred by a pool of betrayal.
I’m reminded of Jesus who died for sins He didn’t commit.
In fact, the Father willed Him to die because the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin or free man from the consciousness of sins.
Jesus Christ never held His death against the Father. He still proclaimed He was loved by the Father.
Forgiveness is more than cheap talk.
Forgiveness is more than praying your enemies die by fire.
Forgiveness is releasing the hurt and loving your offenders just Christ would do if they turned to Him for mercy.
Love is a command we must obey in this world in spite of the offence of the offender.
If we must shine as lights, we have to pay the price of loving the unlovable, or the vilest sinner of them all just as Christ did.
It is written, “For when we were still without, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6).
We need to look at those who raped us emotionally, financially, sexually and tell them we forgive and love them.
We need to look at those who stole from us, broke our trust, laid false witnesses against us, left us, and tell them we forgive and love them.
We need to look at those who misunderstood us, ghosted us, wanted us dead, killed our dreams and passions, and tell them we forgive and love them.
Above all, we should show them the One who died to teach them “to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age” (Titus 2:12).
We should be ready to forgive even before the offense is committed.
You and I will do these through the power of the Holy Spirit resident within us.
So, what are your thoughts about Brandt?