Friday December 1, 1995 is blazoned on my mind. The day the police drove up our long driveway and took him away. For questioning they said. It was late into the night before we knew why. Armed robbery. Twice.
The following Monday, Tim and I squeezed onto the back pew of the courtroom. We had Daniel’s lawyer’s instructions. Go forward when his name is called. Tell the judge you’ve hired counsel and you’d like a continuance.
So we waited. I prayed there’d be no handcuffs.
Daniel’s case was called last. The side door opened. He stepped into the courtroom, hands and legs free. I hurt, not for what he’d done to us, but for what he’d done to himself. For this pain he’d feel for the rest of his life. The judgment other’s would pour on him for this foolish mistake.
Deep in my soul I heard that whisper, the quiet voice of the Spirit. “That’s how I feel when you sin.”
Without shame, we made it to the front. Two broken parents signing in as present. Standing up for their sinner son. “Yes, yes Judge, he’s ours. I know what you think, but we love him. And yes, we’re prepared to do whatever it takes to help him set this right.”
As we spoke, I saw a flogging, an innocent man, and a cross.
Back at home my mind wandered. Fears erupted. I prayed the mattress would swallow me whole.
I thought we’d done our best. Read all the popular books. Gone to church; sent him to private school.
But what if he get’s raped? What if he’s beaten? What if he’s sentenced to life?
For days I tossed and turned. Fear gripped my every move.
And then I remembered God’s grace. And how it had carried me. And even if my worst fears came true, God’s grace would see Daniel through.
After all, it was never my job to save him. To control his every move. Or force him to follow Jesus. If I could, what would be the point of the cross?
So I surrendered all.
Eighteen years later, he’s a husband and a father. A college graduate on his own journey with Christ. He’s creative and strong. Passionate and caring. And he’s a blessing to me, and a reminder to many, of God’s abundant grace.