I wrote this for The Dad Letters two weeks ago. Some people close to me have faced or are facing this type of labeling for some bad decisions they’ve made, and I wanted to remind my kids of their humanity. People make mistakes. I would hope that my children’s capacity to forgive can eclipse minor moral disagreements and slights, and extend into things larger issues like crime. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
The Bible says that Jesus was joined in crucifixion by two men. One to his right, and one to his left. All three men were condemned to die slow, painful deaths while put on display by abusive authority figures for the benefit of bloodthirsty onlookers.
One of the condemned men, seemingly oblivious to his own similar predicament, echoed the sarcastic and degrading calls of the crowd for Jesus to save himself.
The other man publicly recognized his status as a criminal, and believed his fate to be just. He recognized the difference between himself and a man facing condemnation despite innocence.
Jesus made a plea for the ignorant, acknowledged the sincerity of the remorseful, and accepted his unjust punishment.
Despite any differences they may have had in life, all three men died the death of a severe criminal.
I think about this story frequently. I don’t do it out of a sense of religious obligation, I think…
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