Bringing the Text to Life

Restorative Justice Galatians 3:23-29

Restorative Justice

Some criminals today are doing more than sitting sullenly in a cellblock. They're accepting the challenge to repent, make restitution, restore relationships, and change their ways. Are we ready to shift our focus from revenge to reconciliation?

When I was just a baby,
my mama told me, "Son,
always be a good boy;
don't ever play with guns."
But I shot a man in Reno,
just to watch him die.
When I hear that whistle blowin'
I hang my head and cry.
I bet there's rich folk eatin'
in a fancy dining car.
They're prob'ly drinkin' coffee
and smokin' big cigars,
But I know I had it comin',
I know I can't be free,
But those people keep a movin',
and that's what tortures me.

That's "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash. Most people would probably say that anyone who'd shoot "a man in Reno, just to watch him die," deserved prison and a lot more. So what if he envies people on the outside "drinkin' coffee and smokin' big cigars." He did the crime, he does the time. Period.

Pierre Allard understands, perhaps better than most. In 1980, his brother Andre was brutally murdered - shot in the face and then dumped in a field outside Montreal. His killers were never found.

Pierre went to see the frozen body because he wanted, he says, "to see the ugliness...

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