I had a long conversation via email with a man I have known since he was a child. He is a good man and a pastor and one with courage that I admire. Many “courageous” preachers are, to use a Texas line, all hat and no cattle. The catalyst of the conversation was a picture of a former member of this pastor’s former church, along with several other prisoners serving long sentences. My pastor friend said, “He is not the man I knew.”
The man he knew was an outstanding family man, dedicated father and faithful Christian, serving in leadership capacity. And then. And then his wife informed him of an affair and her plans to leave. In a split second this tranquil, mild mannered man committed a brutal murder. Had he given it thought this would not have happened.
This terrible act of rage ended the life of the woman. It also ended the life of the man as he was known by those whom he loved and who loved him in return. It shows in his countenance. His gait has changed, as has his bearing. He shuffles through the daily grind of the prisoner, a forced smile here and there, the torment in his soul ever tearing at his being. The ever present twinkle in his eye of yesterday is no longer a part of his life. His prayer is expressed in an old song, “Lord, to my heart bring back the springtime.”
Copyright © 2013 Larry Lilly
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