I never thought I’d be writing about ‘crime’, ‘criminals’ …. I always wanted to reflect on the happier side of life! Yes, I knew good and evil existed, that people hurt others sometimes, but you never think you’ll suffer such a horrendous hit.
When I found out about forgiveness in relation to the crime against my son, it opened up a whole new perception of life. Dealing with the defendants helped me walk thru some struggles my sons had and that are so prevalent in our nation. So, accepting the offer to make a documentary on a very painful memory was something I hardly thought twice about! You feel you’re sorta on top of the world once you can conquer and share about death, murder. I think my blog gives me that sense I can ‘fight back’, that I don’t have to just stand and take the pain!
So when the offer to take part in a documentary came along, I remembered how I LIKE sharing about Marc! And I LIKED the idea of working on a ‘Restorative Justice’ theme that may help some people see a way out of their pain, or confusion over crime, criminals. There are increasing school shootings, mass murders …. who will the victims and families turn to for comfort, understanding …. besides their pastor?
There are some criminals we can have compassion for, and some it’s hard to imagine have a soul. Some are remorseful, some in denial or boastful of their crimes. Some are in prison for a solitary crime, like Marc’s attacker …. some are constantly in and out of jail. If my part in a documentary could help a few people see how rewarding it is to speak with the youth who took Marc’s life, if the documentary could soften the harsh reality of violence in our country, then I’d be pleased.
I still don’t know if we will be able to take part in the documentary as doing something like this involves the approval of several people, different agencies ODOC mainly, (Oregon Dept. of Corrections). In Marc’s case the state of Oregon has to be agreeable, the prison open to filming. There are issues still unresolved at this moment.
I just want to say it’s been a surprise and blessing to meet and know one of the producers. Angela has been such a beacon of ‘hope’ to me in the sea of life where so many have forgotten about Marc. I was kinda leery in some ways if she would really grasp the issue with the defendants, but she’s so cognizant of what healing can achieve. She’s such a ‘sister’ in this effort. Completely present with my thoughts, questions and anxieties. She never brushes me off and has this expertise that is assuring, cause it IS sorta nerve wracking to go this route!
She’s been out at prisons around the U.S., filming recently but always has time to get back. She actually likes getting my blog, even when I blog about Pres. Trump. She’s never made me feel she’s only interested in a story, she doesn’t put words in my mouth so things please her perspective, but she lets me know she’s genuinely on a mission for healing.
I never wanted the documentary to seem like a ‘show’, or some glossy take on violence, that was a real fear of mine. There are different types of crimes, offenders and it’s a sensitive issue to film, so things have to line up just right. There’s no interest in filming rape victims, other super sensitive victims/crimes, some things are too risky.
It’s interesting to me as a Christian to see who cares, who’s on board for healing, who walks along with me? I tend to look to the people who call themselves Christian to give the most comfort, but that’s not always the case on this journey. Sometimes we don’t know the heart of someone, we don’t know their life search or how God’s pricking their conscience ….. but we can tell something is right in them by their compassion, their continual ability to hear our heart. I’m very appreciative of this experience.
I know I’m lucky with Marc’s offenders, Angela knows it too. One of my contacts son was murdered by 2 ‘gang’ type members and at their arraignment they were so smug, their families joking, snearing, never apologizing to the stricken mother. Another dear friend was raped and she and her children almost murdered but her attacker (a man of a different race) never repented, or was remorseful. So how can you make a journey with someone who doesn’t care, laughs in the face of law and order? There goes part of your future down the tubes! No testimony of healing, no one to write to in prison, no forgiveness to work it’s magic in a heart. I could have it alot worse, if not for God’s hand in this. I could be just one of those mom’s out there living in ‘limbo’, feeling her child’s case is half solved, semi-completed.
That’s why I like to deal with violence, crime in that it brings people into discussion about things they otherwise would never share, things they keep hidden and let slide, until it’s sometimes too late. God uses all kinds of avenues to search every man’s heart, to find those He can work His ways in –