Thursday, March 02, 2006


We walked into the lobby of the courthouse,
aware of all the media standing around, aware
of all the people watching. A stranger walked
up to us, and said, 'there are some folks who
would like to meet you, if that's okay.'

And they stepped forward - Jack and Bill,
brothers of the man whose life Teddy is accused
of taking. They could have nodded politely,
shook hands, murmured platitudes, stepped

But God had something else in mind, and
the four of us stood on holy ground.

"We're here to support you," they said.
"We're here because we share pain and loss
with you; we're here to be with you and Teddy."

Grace's tears mingled with ours; Forgiveness
reached out and clasped our hands, drawing
us close; Reconciliation wrapped us in hugs.

These were not those businesslike, formal,
passing the peace in church type hugs we give
(and receive) so often. These were huge, genuine,
from the heart and soul hugs which we all need
and so rarely receive (or give). These were the
seeds of healing that God has planted in our hearts,
and in theirs.

And the Holy Spirit, that Spirit of Peace, that
Spirit of Reconciliation, that Spirit of Grace
and Hope and Forgiveness, wept and bowed
her head, whispering "Amen."

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

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