Monday, March 5, 2012

The Space Between Millstones and Amazing Grace

Friday was a strange day. In fact, it was a very sad day.
Wait, I'll start at the beginning.
On Friday I got to take a time out! It was long overdue and delicious. But as I was sitting in the hairdresser's chair chatting away like a real grown-up I received a text message. No surprise. I was expecting this message, even waiting for it.

Actually, I received two texts within 10 minutes, both regarding sentencing verdicts in cases with which we are peripherally involved. Wierd.

The Expected- Friday was the court date for the sentencing of our Sunshine girl's birth mother. Her birth dad is already serving his sentence because he took a plea in the case involving the near destruction of this delightful baby. Now, I knew what I was waiting for. I definitely had an opinion, a hoped for verdict. In the range between informal probation, regular probation, and prison time anything less than prison time would have been a travesty. And we "got" it, the verdict that everyone involved on this 'side' of the case was hoping for. Almost a dozen years. If it had gone the other way many people would have been sickened. The permanent brain damage done to this beautiful, sweet baby girl is extreme. Nothing her brain runs works right anymore- eyes, muscles, temperature, swallow, stomach, bladder, bowel, nothing. The sentence was just.
That was the first text.

The Unexpected- A few young women I know have recently had to testify as victims against a man who abused them repeatedly. One of the girls lived with us for eight months during the trial. Some of the girls still live in mortal fear that he will somehow come after them. The unbelievable part of this whole situation is that these are all young women with serious trauma histories, before he got to them. When they were little he was the wonderful respite provider for families experiencing typical trauma history fallout. And he hurt them, again. Who better to prey on than kids who are known to have problems with authority figures, kids who are expected to make up stories. Who would believe them, right? Well these girls found someone who was listening. Thank God for that mercy. He will be in prison for almost 60 years. The sentence was just.
That was the second text.

So! Both great victories for justice, for those who love and protect these hurt children. Then why did I experience such a weight of sadness? As I write this, I realize that it feels like God has given me the opportunity to feel His heart on these matters. There is no victory. It's just tragedy. Our great God loves those who received the sentences as much as he loves the precious children they harmed.
I am so glad that I don't have to get involved in the space between a "millstone hung around the neck" and amazing grace "that saved a wretch like me". It is no mystery what a wretch is. I've walked that tightrope of anger and feared falling. I live with these kids who can push buttons beyond belief. I have compassion for those driven past their ability to cope. Beyond that, we are raising beloved children who could grow up to hurt others in similar ways. I get it.

It seems like there should be more to say. I wish I could come up with a positive way to wrap up this post. It's just not in me. Sometimes we have to sit with the heartbreak, I guess.

So thankful our loving God is big enough.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What a day! I can totally understand the sadness mixed with...satisfaction. Gives me a heavy feeling in my chest just reading this! Maybe the positive way to wrap this up isn't a wrap at all....just the day to day love and support you give these kids!