Miracles. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are so spectacular they can’t be denied, and some so small we will miss them if we’re not careful. There have been many miracles in my life. Some I recognized as soon as they happened, and some I missed at the time that they happened until I looked back over my life and saw that what happened was through the grace of God. But all miracles, recognized or not, big or small, are the Lord’s way of letting us know that He is alive and well on Planet Earth. We live in a broken world, and sometimes it’s easy to forget that, but He doesn’t forget us. He never stops loving us.
My son’s sentencing hearing was this past week, and in it I witnessed a miracle. I had been praying for a miracle, and that is exactly what I got. I’ve mentioned before that our state is notoriously hard on people who are convicted of the charges that my son was facing. The drug my son was addicted to is a huge problem in our state, so they’re coming down hard on offenders. He was a non-violent offender and wasn’t dealing, but when he relapsed, he broke the law by making his own drugs. The assistant prosecutor had been representing the state in all of my son’s previous hearings and I had been glad because the prosecutor himself had made it clear to my son that he would grant him no leniency and that he would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. So, when I walked into the courtroom and saw not the assistant prosecutor, but the prosecutor himself sitting in the courtroom, I felt almost sick. Those familiar feelings of fear and anxiety immediately started to claim their stake on my thoughts and my mind. The charges and possible sentences were read to my son and he was given a chance to speak on his own behalf. My son and I had spoken earlier in the week and he had talked to me about how nervous he was about speaking in the courtroom. He’s always been on the shy side and has lacked self-confidence. But when he opened his mouth and spoke in the courtroom you would have never known how afraid he’d been. He spoke with clarity, courage, and dignity. He didn’t make excuses for his addiction, or his actions, nor did he place the blame on anyone but himself. The Lord gave him words to speak. After he spoke I noticed the prosecutor and the assistant prosecutor conferring, and I couldn’t help but be worried about what they were saying. Maybe he was going to ask for an even tougher sentence? What happened next still stuns me when I think about it. Instead of increasing the sentence he agreed to lower it by 2 years! The judge agreed to it, and sentence was pronounced. I was so grateful and relieved. I shook the prosecutor’s hand and thanked him after the courtroom cleared. After that we went out to my car and were just about to leave when my son’s attorney came and told me that another miracle had happened. The prosecutor had decided to further amend the sentence and reduce it by another 3 years! We quickly went back into the courtroom and listened in amazement as the judge agreed to the amended sentence. In other words, through the Lord’s great mercy, my son has been given back 5 years of his life, 5 years of freedom. Believe me when I say that this is truly a miracle. Our county prosecutor has never done anything like this before.
My son will spend the next 11 years of his life in prison, but it could have easily been twice as much. All I can do is lift my eyes to the heavens and say “Thank you, God, I know that was you.”