Verdict

The jury signaled they had made a decision. The judge called the families into the courtroom. Instructions were given to those in attendance. No verbal reaction to the verdict was allowed. Or law enforcement would escort the vocal responders out of the courtroom. The defendant stood to hear his fate. Each count was read with the decision. At the end of the reading, the defendant collapsed with relief. He was acquitted of all charges.

The judge asked the jury if the verdict was unanimous. Yes. They said. This eighteen year old man is now free to live his life. He could walk out of that courtroom as a free man. He could no longer be tried for these offenses ever again.

Regardless, this young man’s life is now forever changed. He’s already been receiving police protection for many months. He will most likely be forced to move out of state and become incognito for awhile. His career plans may have to be rethought. He’s been offered a possible internship. But when will his life ever return to normal? Or, is this his new normal? Life will never be the same.

Some are calling him a hero. Others say he’s a fool. He says he acted in self defense. Others call him a domestic terrorist. A white supremacist. We could argue back and forth for hours. We’re a country divided. We’re a country that needs to get back to loving and obeying God.

Tragedy doesn’t usually give you a heads up. It just happens. And then the next events are crucial for all involved. That’s exactly what happened in this young man’s situation. Some say he shouldn’t have ever gotten involved that night. He was too young. Too inexperienced. Too eager to be a hero. But the events of that night are forever forged in our nation’s history. There is no going back.


Do what is right, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8


Once again, the country is torn by a legal decision. Some believe this young man should have been put in prison for life with no chance of parole. Others believe the right decision was made. There will, no doubt, be many strong discussions about this verdict. What did the defense do right? What did the prosecution do wrong? And vice versa. Could or should anything have been done differently?

News outlets and social media are all ablaze with opinions and legal analysis. Influencers are sharing their uneducated opinions on the outcome of the trial. Some of their followers are unfollowing them, because their beliefs are at an obvious difference. And everyone has a choice of who they follow and who they don’t. Influencers are also blocking people who sharply disagree, because they don’t want naysayers clogging their feed.

Some are calling for rioting in the city. Others are begging for peace. Some disagree with the verdict, but they’re asking for everyone to accept the judgment. Some cities are rioting. Others are claiming justice was served.

It’s easy to judge someone when we haven’t walked in their shoes. We may think we know what’s best when the problem is someone else’s. It’s easy to make decisions when it affects them and not us. Because we always do the right thing. Don’t we? It’s always the other person who’s wrong. That’s what we think. Because if we think we’re right, then the other person is wrong.

The defendant, the defense team, the jury, the judge and his family have received death threats. People are taking this case personally. Some have decided that racism is involved. Others don’t agree. Can we we find any common ground? Can’t we come to the table and discuss our differences? Can we agree to disagree? Can we no longer seek peace and pursue it? Why are we so divided these days?

I read that it’s easy to take a stand when it doesn’t cost you anything. So what’s the answer? We’ve got to get America back to God.

I wonder. What would happen if we actually did what was right? What if we truly loved mercy? And what if we put all our effort into walking humbly with our God? This world would be in much different shape than it is today. The only verdict we would be waiting for would be when we enter eternity and hear the words “Welcome home, my child. Well done, my good and faithful servant. Enter into your eternal reward.”

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