Some of you may know the name John Dear—no, not the green tractors that used to go put-put—but John Dear [D-e-a-r], a Catholic priest and peace activist from CA. Early in his career John Dear felt obligated to support an inmate on death row, since he opposed the death penalty. He contacted an inmate in GA who was convicted of murder when he was only 19, and said he wanted to correspond with him. But Dear let the inmate know that he was a very busy person, so he couldn’t get too involved. (For the purposes of this story, I’ll call the inmate Derek.)
Three times Derek came within a few hours of being executed. Finally there was a hearing, at which the family of the person Derek had murdered was present. The family begged for mercy for their relative’s killer. Derek was released from prison, got married, had children, and became a pastor in GA—as good an outcome as could be expected.
- Psalm 34:1 - 14