We all know what it’s like to hurt or be hurt, and many of us have experienced forgiveness in its many forms. In other words, we all have stories about forgiveness, but probably none of us quite to the extent of the story told in Convicted: a Crooked Cop, An Innocent Man, and an Unlikely Journey of Forgiveness and Friendship (Waterbrook , 2017).
Jesus told a story about a moneylender who held 2 outstanding debts, one much greater than the other. The characters in the story include a woman who had sinned greatly, recognized the extent of her sin, and had much for which to be forgiven. She was grateful. At the same time another sinner refused to see that he also had sinned greatly, he felt that he was entitled to having his debt cancelled. The same forgiveness was not forthcoming. As Jesus tells the story, before telling the woman that her sins are forgiven, he makes an equally telling comment to the second sinner: “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven — for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." (Luke 7: 47, NIV)
Jesus spoke in a parable to illustrate a truth, and the book Convicted is a retelling of a true story. The authors are writing of their experience. Andrew a crooked cop, who had somehow gotten impressed with himself, and felt that he was above reproach. His entitlement mentality led him to places that he should never have gone. And Jameel, someone who, and excuse the cliché, happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Really. And that misfortune took him to a place where he never planned on going.
Jameel’s hatred helps him for a time to survive prison, but hatred can’t sustain you forever, and by the time he meets Andrew again, things have changed.
Andrew is finally held accountable for his crimes, and as you might expect the two men meet. What you might expect is that Jameel’s hatred would lead to a violent confrontation, but instead what we see play out is forgiveness that most of us wish we could experience, but might never have the opportunity to see. And after forgiveness, comes a friendship that crosses lines of race and strengthens the faith walk of each man.
Be looking for this book in Mid-September.
(privileged to be on the launch team, so I got an advance copy of the book)