You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill.
Matthew 5:21-22 The Message
I don’t live in Florida. And I barely keep up with the news. In fact, the first thing I heard about the Casey Anthony trial was that people were upset that she had been acquitted on charges of murder.
There’s no way I can put myself in her shoes, having stood trial, and been declared not guilty on accusations that I’d killed my own child. As the foreperson read the verdict you could see her breath taken away. How her knees didn’t buckle I’ll never know.
In that moment, either a burden had been lifted or one had been applied. Either way– she wasn’t going to go to jail.
Tears were natural. I don’t know if I could have stood up to that moment with my future literally written on a piece of paper for a woman to read like she did. She stood there and took the verdict. And in the moments afterward I am sure her mind raced… “Now what?”
There hadn’t been a next step in her life. But suddenly, in a breath, there was.
I’m not Casey Anthony.
While I’m not Ms. Anthony– I am Mr. McLane. And I can put myself in my own shoes. My shoes aren’t much cleaner than hers.
According to Matthew 5 I am a murderer. And one day I will stand trial and be found guilty on hundreds of counts of murder according to Jesus’ standard. I’m a hopeless case. As I think about my trial, there may be some counts in which I’d plead guilty. And there might be others in which I plead innocent. And, who knows, there might be some in which I’m guilty of both the charge against myself and providing a false report to try to get myself out of trouble for committing the crime which I’d been charged.
I’m my own Casey Anthony
I have no idea what really happened with the real Casey Anthony. But my life is full of excuses and lies and manipulations of fact, too.
Just like her I need a second chance on life. Who am I kidding? I need a 4,635,128th chance on life.
That’s what is so amazing about second chances in Jesus’ eyes. I might be a hopeless case. But, hanging on the cross, Jesus bore my punishment so I could continue on. In a breath and suddenly, tetelaste, my second chance on life was given.
Just like Ms. Anthony’s life– from this day forward– her life will be defined by what she does with her second chance.
So will mine. So will mine.
Check out more stories in this series at People of the Second Chance