An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth leaves the whole world hungry and blind

I can’t believe I live in a country that still allows capital punishment.

I can’t believe I live in a country that carries out the death penalty on a person who very likely could be innocent.  I am against the death penalty in all cases, but Troy Davis’ case has just left me dumbfounded and heartbroken.  I blogged recently about Casey Anthony and how our justice system isn’t perfect and we don’t always get it right.  I wondered then where the angry mobs of people were when an innocent person is prosecuted.  When an innocent person is put to death.  That is likely what happened last night in Georgia.  It crushes me to think about it. 

It’s not that I don’t think people should be held accountable for their actions.  I do.  But, I don’t believe that the State should play God.  And, please don’t point me to Leviticus 24:20 unless you are willing to follow the other 600 or so laws in the Old Testament.  And, don’t tell me that his lawyers failed him because I believe that there were factors other than incompetant lawyers at play here (not the least of which is racism).  And, don’t try to sell me on the fact that there is always collateral damage in war.  I’ve heard all of the arguments and there is no way I’ll ever be convinced that capital punishment is okay. Especially in this case.

There was doubt in this case.  We are not 100% sure than he committed the crime.  Yes, I know he was convicted, but sometimes we get it wrong.  The jury members have admitted that if they knew then what they know now, they would not have voted to convict him.  And now he is dead.  And Mark MacPhail is still dead.  And, I don’t believe there has been any justice in his murder.  And, it proves to me once again that the State cannot be trusted with capital punishment. 

It is worth noting that another man was executed last night in Texas.  The crime was heinous and there is no doubt that Lawrence Russell Brewer played a role in the hate crime again James Byrd, Jr.  And yet, the victim’s own son objected, saying “you can’t fight murder with murder”.  Amen.

I believe in a just God and I know that He will deal with Troy Davis and Lawrence Russell Brewer accordingly.  It’s my only comfort today.

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I’m so busy!

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything.  I’ve been writing, but nothing is ready to be posted yet.  There’s a lot on my mind — from my visit with my 91 year old grandmother in August, to a new baby in the family to embracing my new role of being the mother of a middle schooler.  It’s all swirling in my mind right now.  “I’m so busy”, I tell myself.  And, I hear it all the time from other people. 

Here’s the truth:  We aren’t THAT busy.  We are just busy with the things that we make a priority.  Yes, there are times when we are double booked or have a lot on our plate.  But, let’s be real…most of it is stuff that we choose to put on our plate.  And, we make the time for the things that are at the top of our priority list.  How often do our plans change because something comes up that is higher on our priority list?  I tell Jake all the time that he has to prioritize.  Is piano a priority?  Then don’t waste your time on video games (I’m sure he’ll need therapy for all the times I have told him what an amazing pianist he would be if he spent 1/2 the time practicing that he does playing Xbox). And, he reminds me that sometimes we just need a break from all of our commitments and resting *is* the priority.  After all, God did it (Gen 2:2).  He sanctified it and made it holy (Gen 2:3)  And he commanded it (Deut 5:12).  Now, I don’t want to make this a debate about what day the Sabbath is supposed to on be or how we are to observe it — I use those verses merely to point out that rest is part of who we are as God created us.
 
Lloyd and I try really hard not to be “too busy” to just be in the moment.  We love to have a house full of people and now that we have a house that will fit more than 3 people in it, we long to just be able to spontaneously invite somebody over instead of planning it 3 weeks out.  Some of the best parties I’ve ever had are those that just “happened”.  It’s not that I think planning is bad…but when somebody invites me over for dinner and I tell them I’m busy until November, I think it speaks volumes about how important they are in my life.

When we lived in Olympia, we built a deck on the front of our house so that we could intentionally hang out in our neighborhood, engaging people as they passed by.  I remember one day last summer, I’d had a stressful day and just wanted to hang out with people.  I posted on Twitter and Facebook that I’d be out on the deck with margaritas and whoever wanted to drop by was welcome.  We had people on our deck late into the night — talking, laughing & forging new friendships.

I’ve said before that I believe people have a desire to be known.  I also believe that we were created to be in community with one another.  God gave Adam a companion because it “is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen 2:18).  Our triune God did this (this was not an accident or an after-thought).  We are social beings — we were not created to live behind a privacy fence and not engage in the world around us.  And the only way to get to know people in an intimate way — a way that is condusive to long lasting relationships is to not be “too busy” to invite them over for dinner in the first place.  Invite somebody.  Get to know them.  Invest in them.  Make them a priority.  Your life will be richer because of it.