Not Just a Criminal

There is nothing more tragic than the loss of hope.  The despair that comes when a birthright is exchanged for a lie cuts deeply leaving pain that can’t be quenched.  When that “final straw” leaves us with labels that are contrary to our Design and Purpose, the scheme has worked.

I was representing a young man who had a string of recent troubles recently.  I met his mother outside of the courtroom as she waited for him to be brought out in the orange jumpsuit to stand this most recent trial.  She had lost hope for him. She told me “I have come to the conclusion that he is just a criminal.”

That was a lie she had come to believe about a son she undoubtedly loved.  She believed the lie because one disappointment after another suggested that the identity of “criminal” could be the only appropriate label.  If the young man’s mother believed that and spoke that to and about her son, how long before he bought the lie (if he hadn’t already)?

That’s not what this young man was created to be.  That’s not what any of us are created to be.  As I told that defeated mother, something went wrong to get this boy off track.  Getting off track resulted in bad decisions born in the path of consequences from the inspiration of desperation.

So many clients want to avoid a conviction because they want to “keep it off my record.”  The “record” becomes an indicator of identity.  The things people have done are used as defining markers that support conclusions skimmed from the surface of the person.  The depth of who they are supposed to be gets lost in the suggestion of the record of offenses against that intended destiny.

Redemption takes that record and makes it irrelevant.  Every conviction, mistake or bad choice is covered by the Grace of Renewal and Restoration.  The Truth of identity rescues the hijacking of the soul through a miraculous birth.  The New Man is created from the ashes of destruction in the wake of the mistaken path of the old man.  Life is born of death and Restoration begins.

The key in the times of defeat when there seems to be only darkness is to find the Light, no matter how slight it might seem.  The Light is there in us and for us.  Only that Light prevents the forfeit of a mother’s belief in a son.  It is that Light which ensures that Hope is never lost.

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