Sunday, March 27, 2005

Resurrection morning

You've probably heard the story of Brian Nichols, the man accused of rape who escaped from police custody earlier this month in Georgia. Nichols reportedly murdered several persons before taking Ashley Smith hostage at her home at 2 a.m. During the night, Ashley Smith was a personal witness for Jesus Christ to Nichols, and her actions led directly to his peaceful capture--and perhaps the salvation of his soul. Andrew Sullivan has written an Easter article in this week's Time magazine about the encounter. The story, he says, is fundamentally one of grace:
I say this as a believer. The crimes of Nichols are inexcusable. The serenity of Smith is close to inexplicable. But the message of the Gospels is that God works with the crooked timber of human failure. This was an exceptional moment of redemption. But every day, we have smaller, calmer chances to turn another's life around, to serve, to listen. How often do we simply not see what is in front of us? How often do we believe that the world's evils - from terrorism to crime to emotional cruelty - are beyond our capacity to change? Or that there is no one in front of us whom we can serve? Smith and Nichols' story is a chastening reminder that we may be wrong.
Amen. The essay is beautiful and moving. I urge you to read it for yourself.

Italicized text above is copyright 2000, 2005 by Andrew Sullivan, used by permission.


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