Well the second day of the trial is over and it was much harder than I thought it would be - especially this morning. We heard the autopsy report complete with photos. I did not look at any of the pictures. Just hearing all the little nitty gritty details was extremely difficult!
I cannot bear to give the details here. Suffice it to say it was a morbid and shocking scene.
There were quite a few other events that took place today in court. Some testimony from "Mama G" (that will most likely need to be it's own blog post), testimony from one of the DNA experts, testimony from 2 of the detectives in the case. And testimony from a minister. Yes, a minister.
This minister happened to be going door to door in a low-income apartment building on good Friday in 2011. Just 3 days before Mom & Dad were killed. He witnessed to Jose. He said that Jose ended up saying he wanted to accept Jesus as his Savior. He wanted to be baptized. He went with the minister and a few others to the church where Jose was baptized that very day! This minister shared Scripture with Jose trying to be sure that Jose knew what it meant to repent and turn away from his sin. He said Jose was excited about being baptized. Jose even went door to door with him the next morning and agreed to go to church Easter morning. When the pastor went to pick him up, he was not there. He did not go to church.
What happened in Jose's mind? In his soul? In his spirit? That's what I'm trying to figure out. Obviously he has many issues, one of which is a severe drug addiction. I know this distorts your thinking greatly!
The grace of God is truly with me. I looked at Jose a lot. He would often catch me looking at him. I just keep looking. He looks away quickly when he sees me looking at him. At one point after the autopsy testimonies were done, I was looking at Jose. A feeling of compassion welled up within me. I cannot explain it! He turned at looked at me. I just kept looking at him tenderly. This time he just couldn't seem to quit looking at me. Of course, I cannot communicate with him and that was not my intention but I truly did feel a love for him that is totally unexplainable. Even now as I am writing this I cannot fathom it. Truly it is from God.
Please keep praying for Jose. After our eye contact incident, I felt compelled to pray for God to reveal Himself to Jose. My prayer is that he will see God, feel the love of Jesus, that God will allow him to remember what happened Easter Sunday night and the following morning, and that what was meant for evil will be turned into good!
Genesis 50:20 (English Standard Version)
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
Lord, use this evil act to bring glory to you! In Jesus' name we pray, Amen!
I wrote the above last night and I had included details of how Mom & Dad died. I generally do not post my writing until I've sat on it a bit, prayed about it, and then gone back and re-read it. Today I knew I had to remove details of their death.
This morning in my quiet time I was reading my devotional, Oswald Chambers Utmost for His Highest. I was struck by this:
"But once you receive a commission from Jesus Christ, the memory of what God asks of you will always be there to prod you on to do His will. You will no longer be able to work for Him on the basis of common sense."
I felt the same feelings of compassion for Jose welling up again. I had to fall to my knees and cry out to the Lord for Jose and for me. "Lord, reveal Yourself to me as You also reveal Yourself to Jose!"
It does not make "common" sense but as my brother Stephen and I were talking about what God is showing me, Stephen said, "The world lives by 'common' sense but God wants us to live by 'holy' sense."
I was struck by my own words I say often to ladies at the jail. "The love Jesus has for you is so great that if you were the only sinner on earth, Jesus would still have died just for YOU!" I know Jesus feels that way about Jose. He is one of Jesus' lost sheep. He will go to any length to bring Jose into the safety of His Presence!
Please keep praying! God is doing a great work in this young man's life as He is also doing a great work in me! Your prayers are sustaining me and I am grateful for each and every one of you!
Acts 22:24 (New Living Translation)
But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus-the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.