Can You Love This Woman?
“Some fucking cop just shot a dude in his own apartment!!!” Before I could even process what was happening, I got another call. “You won’ believe this shit…a female cop shot an innocent brother in his own apartment…over there off Lamar…we got to get out there!” Almost without thinking, I got in my car and started driving. For the entire drive, both my mind & heart were consumed with the magnitude of it all. Tears mixed with sweat as I prayed for the survivors. I didn’t know anything about them. I just knew I had to pray. The more I prayed…the angrier I got. Eventually, I had to pull over. I was shaking. “How could anyone shoot somebody down like his?” I had already cast her to hell multiple times when I heard something from beyond. “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Honestly, I had no idea what such words even meant in this situation. I just knew that I heard something that gave me pause. Regardless, I had work to do.
“Jeff, I need you.” For months, I helped lead and organize rally after rally and march after march. Every night, I stood up and demanded justice for Botham Jean as loud as I could. “This woman is evil!” “May God send her to prison for the rest of her life!” “We don’t even need no trial on this one!” “What’s her address?” The stronger the words got the more I realized that something wasn’t right in my spirit. Late one night, my anger started to boil as I was driving home. I stopped. As I prayed, I heard it again, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” I dismissed such words as bullshit. “How can anyone love a monster?” I figured it must be the devil talking to me. Placing my foot on the gas, I sped off into the night. I didn’t want any of it.
I didn’t expect to be there. I didn’t have a plan. I simply walked in. I don’t know that I even touched dinner. I was too busy talking to the parents of Botham Jean. When I asked about forgiveness/love for Amber Guyger, they assured me, “that is our goal.”
The trial seemed to arrive slowly. The verdict came quickly. The entire process portrayed Amber Guyger to be what I have long thought she is…a monster. When the guilty verdict came down, everybody chanted and cheered. In the midst of it all, something jus wasn’t right in my spirit. Then I heard it again, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Not long after the verdict, I was asked for a quote and I replied…
“Justice for Botham Jean will never be complete without our finding a way to love Amber Guyger. There is no other path forward.”
Can you love this woman?