Today was one of the most incredible, life altering, freeing, emotion-filled days I have ever had. Chains were broken despite the physical chain that remained. A wounded sister that was the victim of her younger brothers substance induced shooting rampage that claimed the life of her 2 year old son and left her with 6 bullet hole scares and a grieving heart.
Fast forward 3 years and in walks her brother with shackled hands and feet to see the face of his sister for the first time since that tragic night. As she glanced up and their eyes met, all of the pain and feelings came rushing back to her and her emotions could not be contained. She ran out of the courtroom a woman overcome with so many emotions after years of suppressing her pain. We prayed, cried, and the Spirit gave her strength and composure and Miranda was faced with the decision of whether or not to go back into that courtroom and face her brother. She reflected on a promise that she made to her mother who had passed away a year before and walked back into the courtroom a determined woman. While all the while her brother Andrea sat with tears streaming down his face longing for her healing and strength. He had been sitting behind bars alone for the past 3 years, longing to tell his sister that he was sorry.
So Aundra stood to accept his sentence from the judge who sat on the podium in front of him. She said, "Are you guilty of the murder of 2 year old Nazario Boykins and attempted murder of Miranda Boykins?" To which he replied, "I am guilty". The judge then charged with with 2 life sentences. "I accept all charges", reply Andrea with tears. She asked him if there was anything he wanted to say.
The Spirit of the Lord was thick in the room at this point and Aundra with his back turned away from Miranda muttered in tears, "I am so sorry Miranda. I never meant to hurt you like this. God has given so much grace and he is worth everything. Stay strong Miranda. I love you and I love Nazario."
After the time in the courtroom was over, Miranda had the option of going into a small conference room to see her brother. Their older sister Trice accompanied them along with a lawyer and a security guard. As soon as the door closed Miranda asked if she could hug her brother. They were hesitant at first, not knowing what her reaction might be, but her lawyer insisted. They hugged. They hugged and cried. A miracle. A moment many of us have been praying for for years now. Reconciliation, forgiveness, mercy, healing, freedom, faith coming to life... all culminating in a moment. Pieces of a broken family coming back together. Embracing one another, praying, and laughing together they concluded their short time that would last a lifetime of importance with laughing about what their mama would have said to them if she were there.
I am confident that great rejoicing was happening in heaven as these wounds that were formally controlled by the evil one were now subjected to the reigning King. The God who saves us. The one who heals the deepest wounds. Miranda knows Him! Aundra knows Him! The lawyers acknowledged that they witnessed a miracle as tears were streaming down their face as they packed up their briefcases.
There is still a long road, but the travelers will not be traveling alone. They both miracleculously have the same church, the same body of Christ that is committed to never leaving them and they have a Father that will be with them every step. And little Nazario, you will never be forgotten. Your legacy will live on in our hears forever and ever. As the sounds of rejoicing were likely echoing through the kingdom today, I picture you sitting in the Fathers lap as extended His hands in joy.
All blessing and honor, glory and power are due Him! He reigns forever and ever. Amen.