Thursday, February 25, 2010

Update 2/25/10 Day 109

Dear friends,

Today was a day of sober emotions and thoughtful consideration. A day of relief and sadness all balled up together. Today was a day of rough justice, the only kind possible on planet earth. Today Oscar Lewis pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular assault and DWI in a Rensselaer County courtroom for the crash and subsequent serious injuries that brought this blog in to existence. There is no joy in any of this. But there is a sense of moving on. There is much to tell regarding our feelings in this process, and as time goes on you will hear more. We are still sorting it all out. In eight weeks, the sentencing will take place in the same building, and Stephen and I will give our victim impact statements. All of you will know the date and time about a week or so before so you can attend if you would like. You have supported us right along, and you certainly deserve to hear our take on the impact of all of this (not that you don't know it already-you've been such a part of it).

From the very beginning, the scripture was blazing in my heart: "Vengeance is mine, I will repay says the Lord..." From the minute I got the awful news that my precious baby girl and dear husband were catastrophically injured I received a divine grace to forgive Oscar Lewis. I don't hold any hatred or vengeance in my heart toward him. That's the truth. I pray God will get a hold of him in prison, and he will find the mercy of the Great One and turn his life around. My true hope for him is that he will be set free from the prison of guilt and shame. Only the Great One can do that for a man.

Vengeance is dark. Vengeance kills with unforgiveness. But justice is another matter. Justice is a lovely and righteous virtue. Justice calls sin by its right name and seeks the good and safety of the innocent. Justice must be done so no other 14 year old girls are unjustly afflicted with brain bleeds. Justice must prevail so no other fathers of three fight for their lives and then struggle and experience suffering every day. It is only right and fair that this man serve the time the human system of justice says he must. No amount of time in prison can rewire Hannah's brain. No time can make Stephen's leg grow back to its right length or give him full use of his right arm. Only the Great One can do those miraculous things. But to find some kind of justice is what keeps our country from becoming like many third world states, corrupt and evil. Justice may be the very thing to save this man's life. So I can honestly say that I hold nothing ill in my heart toward Oscar Lewis. And I see no contradiction in also adamantly supporting his sentence. I hope you understand where I'm coming from. No matter what, my conscience is clear before "the One to whom I must give account."

Once my family is back in one piece, I look forward to helping folks like my friend Bill Dikant, whose wife, son and daughter were killed by a drunk driver. I will do all I can to help sweet Ms. Lockwood at Columbia High get the word out to kids that drunk driving kills and maims. And I will do my best to lock arms with hard working advocates to stiffen the penalties for DWI, which is what leads to disasters like the one we experienced. Ultimately, human intervention can only go so far. So we pray to the Mighty One to make effective the work of our hands. In the meantime, I'm so glad I can simply share with all of you my sorrow over the whole thing. You are the supreme team! I hope you know how much I love and appreciate all of you.

There are still hurdles to overcome. And this part won't really be in the rear view mirror until after the sentencing. You know we'll need your prayers for that day. But this day was simply another step up the mountain, another piece of up and over on day 109. I can't really express all the emotions tucked inside, but I've tried to give you some of it. I promised long ago to be honest in this "public diary", or else why write it? Someday my grandchildren will read these words, and I want them to see the struggle, to see the good, the bad and the ugly so they can know for sure that the Great One is always strong. Then when they have a supreme climb, hopefully they'll hold on tight to the God who never, ever fails. May He be forever praised!

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


PS: Thank you to the East Greenbush police, who have been there for me all along. Four of them were in court today. These are the cream of the crop, friends. The absolute top of the heap. God Bless them!


Anonymous said...

I understand the struggle for many reasons that I will not go into. Your approach to this particular part of the issue reveals that you and Steve have prayed much and searched the scripture for the appropriate and right response. As you so perfectly stated, forgiveness and justice can and must abide together. That is one more aspect of the Great One's nature that you have so graciously painted through out this journey.

Our hearts are with you in this and we will continue to pray for more grace. "Grace, grace, God's grace, Grace that is greater than all our sin".

Love from snowy, wet, windy, sunny Vermont - believe it or not, it is all that today.
Pastor Gordy

Steve and Hannah said...

Dearest Pastor Gordy,

Your understanding means more to me than I can say.

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


DanelleM said...

Forgiveness allows us to heal and move on....unforgiveness keeps us bound to the person or situation and pulls us down, it also allows the offender more power than is their right. I too have learned to forgive and it is so freeing. God Bless you on this journey....your family is an inspiration to all.


Vincent said...

God's justice will prevail! I support you 110% totally agree with you. You amaze and encourage me daily.

Today a heard a sweet bird singing it was a red cardinal outside my kitchen window . i remember what you wrote about the robins. i stopped doing the dishes and slowly (gladly)opened the window to take in this gift and say a pray for you too.
Francine - Schenectady NY