Perhaps you’ve been following the trial of Amber Guyger. She was the former Dallas police officer who entered the wrong apartment, thinking it was her own, and killed the man inside, thinking he was an intruder. Even despite the terrible mistake of opening the door of the wrong home, the man—Botham Jean—showed no aggressive move toward Mrs. Guyger, yet she felt the need to draw her weapon and kill him all the same.
Earlier this week, with her trial ended, she was found guilty of murder.
Botham is a brother in Christ. He also a member of the Good News Singers who, if you have been to our Family Day in years past, come regularly to sing to us after our worship and dinner is ended. The fact that he’s a brother should not change anyone’s mind about whether Amber should have been found guilty of murder or manslaughter or even guilty at all. The only thing knowing the condition of Botham’s soul should do is give confidence that he is out of a world where senseless death can occur.
At Amber’s sentencing, Botham’s brother Brandt testified that he did not want Amber to die. In fact, he went the second mile with her. Listen to Brandt’s words…
“I think you know that. But I just – I hope you go to God with all the guilt all the bad things you may have done in the past. I forgive you, and I know if you go to God and ask him, he will forgive you. I’m speaking for myself, I’m not even on behalf of my family — but I love you just like anyone else. And I’m not gonna say I hope you rot and die just like my brother did. But I personally want the best for you. And I wasn’t going to say this in front of my family or anyone but I don’t even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you. I don’t know if this is possible, but can I give you a hug please?”
It’s been very interesting to read the reactions on social media to this moment. Non-Christians who make up 99.9% of internet communities were shocked, with some praising the action and even others being angry that he would be so lenient. Others commented on how so many Christians are hypocrites who talk and talk and talk but never do the things Jesus teaches.
Brandt just did.
Listen to my Master…
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect (complete), even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
For those who don’t know what real Christianity is supposed to look like, let me tell you that what Brandt did this week is about as good a representation as you’ll find anywhere today. And the thing is…that wasn’t even anything extraordinary. That’s just doing exactly as Jesus expects of His people. Brandt hugging and forgiving the person who killed his brother is a perfectly normal, usual, ordinary display of Christianity.
God bless him for showing the rest of the world what it looks like.