Two years ago, I, along with thousands of others, found myself glued to the T.V. as I watched the drama of the Casey Anthony murder trial unfold in an Orange County, Fla., courtroom. I think it riveted me for a couple of reasons: the Anthony family lived just down the street from me, and it was about a mother supposedly murdering her child.
I admit, I did not presume her innocent. Whether or not she killed her child in cold blood, as the prosecutors suggested, or whether little Kaylee’s death was the result of some sort of negligence on the part of her mother, I don’t know, but I was appalled that the jury found her not guilty of some sort of hand in her daughter’s demise.
Now, the nation is once again focused on my little corner of the world. George Zimmerman is on trial in neighboring Seminole County for second degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin. I’m not riveted to this one: I’ve watched maybe a total of 15 minutes, and I haven’t formed any solid conclusions. Except for this one: No one, and I mean no one, except the Lord God Almighty, knows what’s in the heart of George Zimmerman, and what was in the heart of Trayvon Martin.
I’m very sorry Trayvon is dead. I think there were many, many things that should have been done differently. What I can’t abide in this case is the call for vigilante justice and the threat of riots if George is found not guilty.
Really? Why is the assumption that, because Zimmerman is “non-black” (seriously?) and Martin was black, Zimmerman automatically is racist and targeted Martin from the get-go?
And I’m not saying he didn’t. But I am saying that this is a no-win situation. Trayvon Martin certainly didn’t win anything; he’s dead. And George Zimmerman loses either way as well. If he’s found guilty, he goes to prison. That’s a big loss. If he’s found not guilty, he will never experience a day of peace in his life, because the media won’t let him. He’s guilty because he’s not black.
That’s how I read it, anyway.
But this is what I read also: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 NIV)
Casey Anthony, George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin, Stephanie Reeves.
We’re no different. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NIV).
Yet, I can say along with the apostle Paul, “Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24, 25a NET)
And on a daily basis, I need to do a heart check: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way” (Psalms 139:23, 24 NASB).
Our justice system is imperfect, I think we can all agree on that. And none of our hearts are white as snow, unless they’ve been washed by the blood of Jesus.
Thank God I am not on trial on a daily basis for the deceitfulness of my heart. But, woe to me if I judge others too harshly. I don’t know what really happened to Kaylee Anthony, and I don’t know what happened on that street when George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. But I do know this, as John Bradford did: There, but for the grace of God, go I.
photo from iraqinews.com