I can’t share much about the defendants now at their request, also, there’s just things I plain don’t want to at this juncture, but I’ll share ….. God is so alive! I prophesied couple years back about what will happen in the future, and that’s enough for now.
I’ll also share why I’m involved in their lives …..
- The circumstances surrounding my son’s murder case were pretty typical for youthful offenders I gather, just some nice enough young men out late, who didn’t know each other and got angry over some tiny thing. It wasn’t a premeditated crime, or drug or sex crime, but a ‘stupid tragic’ crime.
- The two young men were very remorseful.
Knowing it wasn’t a premeditated crime I think was a huge blessing. I don’t know how I’d feel if it was premeditated? I don’t entertain ‘what if’s’. Knowing the defendants were so young also made me feel okay about reaching out to them. It was more likely they were just caught up innocently and weren’t career criminals.
I’d been around my sons and their friends, I knew about the crazy antics, goofy innocence and the sweet smiles of confusion they might display at the moment they were found out. The defendants didn’t give off menacing vibes to me, so I felt okay bout reaching out. I also noticed they didn’t have family at the hearings, so I felt they maybe were needing some adult confirmation.
I don’t live in the state the crime was committed in so I had to go out of my way at times to get info on them. I spent intensive months getting all the resources I could to understand prison or probation protocol. I called prison ministries, and searched online. I spoke with some in ministry at church and those who’ve been incarcerated. I contacted the D.A., the lead detective, defense attorneys, Probation Officers and the State of Oregon Corrections Dept. to get info so I could understand what the protocols were before I contacted them. Sometimes it felt I was taking on the whole State of Oregon or something.
I was on one hand afraid of street people, certain homeless and felons scared me …. but when I saw or heard the boys in court hearings they seemed either so fearful or lost, like a normal overwhelmed youth would be, so I had to go by my instincts too to guide me. To my astonishment they both responded pretty readily to my writing them.
I also wanted to stay in contact as I found I needed to know them and hear their remorse again. Talking about the pain of the crime was important to me with them. I could see and hear how it helped not just me but them as well. The healing oil just flowed over me when we dealt on that level. Indescribable how comforting!
Thru them I was strengthened because of research into homeless statistics, shelters, facilities. I’ve researched prisons. On this journey I’ve re-discovered some things about youth and our culture that are so important to keep in mind. God gave me a heart for the boys as they’d been homeless for a couple months and when I spoke with or wrote them they were like so many previously normal youth ….. trying to be strong after a tragic event, trying to recover something normal, and …. thinking of their families or friends and missing them. They sounded like my friends children in that respect, who’re battling anti-Christian comments, drug and peer pressures.
I’d been assessing people wrong! I used to think that homeless were either jovial or scary, but I could totally relate to these young men as people, they weren’t too far gone. Their minds not confused, their hearts not seared from years of abuse on the streets or mental illness.
Another important reason I’m making an effort to know them is that they aren’t social misfits per se, not anti-government radicals or alt-right guys who’ve lost their identity and believe they are political creatures. They never blamed society for their problems to me! These guys communicate with me with their feelings and aren’t into arguing with me or feeding me some political jargon. They are direct, don’t curse and I saw immediately they were sorta clueless about all the attention a murder case entails. So it gave me confidence to approach them. They’ve always shown me respect, and considered my loss and Marc’s memory in our discussions. It takes two, I’m not on a one-man road.
Peter cried bitter tears after he refuted knowing Jesus. How wretched he must have felt, that must have been a wake up call to him. Under duress so many of us can be tempted to do wrong things, even fatal things. None of us is above tragedy, I’ve found …. but God is able to meet every mistake we make with blessings we never knew could happen –