Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson sat on my bookshelf for months. Then, our church decided to read it and discuss it. I read it. I thought it was a book about the Biblical foundations for mercy and why Christians should practise mercy. It is that, partly, but it is told as stories. Stories about people who have been broken by life and often ended up in the criminal justice system. Some times even on death row. Often, they did not do what they where convicted of. Some spent years in solitary confinement just down the hall from the electric chair. There are stories about families not functioning well and others doing what they can to support their incarcerated family member. Stevenson, a lawyer, started working with people who were facing the death penalty. Many were children who were tried as adults and who had already spent most of their lives in prison. These are heartbreaking stories. Powerful stories. Stevenson often says he is a broken man doing what he can do in the midst of brokenness. Seeking some mercy. Just Mercy. Many of the stories are about a broken system. Many stories ask the question, do we deserve to kill? Read this book. It just might change your mind.