Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Casey Released

Words, in Anger and Revenge, Kill
Totally unplanned, I ended up at the hotel immediately behind the Orlando Prison where Casey Anthony was about to be released. The news said she would leave on Sunday. I had flown into the Orlando Airport for a trip that had been planned for six months to help a girlfriend before, during and after surgery. She is from NM and I am from TN. With God there are NO coincidences... no chance happenings... no lucky moments. In a web of time beyond my understanding (but totally in God's hands), time, people and events collide for purposes allowed  by His permissive will.

Driving from the airport, I noticed as the mapquest directions became shorter (indicating our hotel for the night was near), we passed a wall barricaded with two rows of spiral barbed wire strategically placed between an inner and outer wall. "Barbed Wire"...  razor barbed wire normally signals a prison/ correctional facility. My heart sensed... Casey must be here.

As we turned on the final road for our hotel (well, a motel since the doors were open to the parking), we drove past a handful of protesters carrying large signs. "MURDERER" was prominent on one. The big, red painted words were intended for cameras and Casey's eyes pierced my heart. (The vulture media was in position, even at our motel, aiming lights and cameras to the facility)

That could be me... I am guilty of so much in life... what about you? (Didn't Jesus say if you hate someone in your heart you are guilty of murder?)

I prayed for Casey, and against the desire of satan - the accuser - to keep her in a inner prison more powerfully guarded than with barbed wire and gun toting police. Satan is dancing! He is the only winner in this whole situation. He delights in people being killed, destroyed, and trapped from ever  knowing God. He cares not who his victim is... a baby, a young mother, a family, a generation, a city, or a nation.

Could what I felt be the type of pain Jesus felt deep within his heart of compassion when a crowd angrily determined the proper punishment for the woman caught in adultery?

Read carefully, John 8: 3-10,

The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” 6 They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. 7 But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”

Who are you in the case of Casey Anthony?

How do you judge?

A Scribe or Pharisee - You have duly noted the guilt of Casey Anthony, and in your heart or words sought punishment, even vengeance (justice), for the sake of the precious dead child, Caylee. You uphold the law and want to Casey to suffer punishment (even death) since her daughter was killed/murdered. You cringed at seeing a young  mother party with friends, to you this behavior that was caught on tape proved her guilt. You were persistent in your call for punishment.

Jesus stooping down and writing on ground - You waited, listened, and refrained from passing judgement. You are taking time to hear from God. You remembered what God requires of each of us, to "do unto others as you want others to do unto you, to "forgive others as He has forgiven you," and  to trust God since He says, "Vengeance is Mine."

The Adulterer - You are guilty and people know it. You have a reputation that follows you and you are scared that you will never be set free. You are in a prison... you have been for a long time... Fingers point, ugly words are thrown... You know the receiving side of vengeance, anger, blame and shame. Fear and hope encircle you. Dark frightening nightmares are reeled as nightly reruns. It feels there is no way out, and the love of God is for others... good people, not you.

Of course, we all know the public answer, the" supposedly good Christian one" is always to be like Jesus. But for a moment, why not be REAL... and answer these questions....

  1. Have you ever sinned? or can you answer, "Yes" when Jesus said, are you the one "who is without sin"?
  2. Are you the Lawmaker? Are you the Judge? Did you pass judgement on Casey? 
  3. Did you see what happen? Are you able to know the hearts and the absolute truth of Caylee's death?
  4. If your worst actions in life, especially as a teen or in your twenties was on video, what would people think of you? What would your reputation be? What if we could know your secret thoughts? What if we magnified your life and scrutinized every detail? 
  5. Have you ever been either rightly or wrongly accused? Has all the circumstantial evidence pointed to you? Has this ever happen to someone you love?
  6. Did you ever have compassion on Casey? Did you imagine how you could be like Christ in response to this very horrible situation? Did you cover it all in prayer? Did you listen for God?

As we rested in bed late Saturday night, we heard several helicopters fly overhead at 30 minute intervals until about 1 A.M. My sincere prayer was for Casey to leave in the night protected from hatred, and to somehow encounter God's love. I covered the area in spiritual prayer calling upon God to move in her behalf.

Does she deserve such compassion, grace, mercy, protection? Of course not... but do any of us?


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