A friend of mine is a public defender. While he never spoke specifically of the cases he manages, he often spoke of the difficulty of his job. He is an incredible soul. While his is not the most honored or prestigious in the legal profession, he tries to do his best. Obviously, what makes his job so difficult is that the people he represents are most often guilty, and the judgments in the cases reflect that. For many people that would weigh heavily and make the job all the more difficult.
But he approached his job differently, noting that he is not the judge, but he has the responsibility to trust his clients and do the best that he can, even though the reality is that he would lose; as he said, “there is only so much someone can do.”
I asked him once why he did that and he joked “Good money” (BTW, it’s not). Then he got more serious and said, “Because there are those few cases where I can really help someone, not always to get them off, but to change their lives.” While he knew that evil and bad existed, he noted that nobody should be denied a second chance, even sometimes a third or fourth chance. Mostly it comes from the baseline belief that nobody should be seen as a throwaway.
Unfortunately, this is how we view much of the legal system. Once someone enters, we judge them and often create circumstances so that they can never recover and crime is the only way.
What the bible teaches us is that everyone is capable of finding success in life. No, this does not have anything to do with financial wealth or power. Rather, it has everything to do with being saved. That no matter what we have done, we have the possibility of being saved, if we accept a faith in Jesus Christ.
This is where the trial of our life comes in, because if we genuinely believe, then we are given the ultimate defender who is also the judge who despite anything that may cloud the goodness of our hearts can see through that to know who we are as a blessed child of God.
Two weeks ago in the Gathering we spoke about the question of “Who am I?” and recognized that we may never know ourselves but to the knowledge that we belong to God. Thus, what is important is the fact that we are God’s and God will use us as he sees fit.
The interesting thing with my friend was that he did not always believe in his clients, but he always believes that if he does his best for them that God will do what is right. This both kept him sane and gave him a way to understand his professional life along with his Christian one. For him, he knew that he could only do so much and God would have to do the rest. In other words, he tries to give his clients a portion of the Grace, which he feels God will give him.
When you know that God sits on all sides of the trial we can only have hope. We know that God will lift us up for “If God is for us, who is against us?”
Rev. Dr. Bryan James Franzen