......revelations of one woman's reality of life, love, and all things hopeful...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Gratitude Day 4: Pardon Me!

Did you read the story on foxnews.com about the gentleman in Missouri who was pardoned by President Bush on Monday? According to the article, twelve years ago this man pleaded guilty to federal charges on killing 3 American bald eagles. It seems that when he poisoned some coyotes to protect wild turkeys, the eagles ate the carcasses of the coyotes and were consequently poisoned as well.

It's clear the man did not intend to kill the endangered eagles, but the fact of the matter is, because of his actions, the eagles died. According to the article, "While he didn't go to jail, the conviction was hard on Collier. He was ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution. As a convicted felon, the longtime hunter had to give up his guns."

Notice that he pleaded guilty. Of course this gentleman must have felt in his heart that he wasn't really guilty because he never intended to kill the endangered birds. It just sort of happened. Nevertheless, it did happen, and it was his fault. He confessed.
Then came his pardon this week. How relieved this man must have been to have his name cleared! Interestingly, the article did not mention if the man had already paid the $10,000 in full or if he had been in some type of appeals process this whole time. Regarding his gun rights, I assume that, because he has been cleared of his felony label, he has regained his right to bear arms.
I think that's a beautiful thing about our government...the ability that the governors and President have to pardon criminals. Certainly, if my loved one was the victim in the crime, I would not likely be so happy to see the pardon, but I appreciate the concept.
And isn't that a beautiful thing about God? Pardoning sins, that is.
Our US government is surely flawed in the balance of justice and mercy at times. Sometimes that power to pardon or prosecute falls into irresponsible hands and the power is misused. This is not true of our Supreme Ruler, Jesus Christ. He is perfection in the balance of justice and mercy.
We've all been guilty of sin that we never intended to commit, no? We all sin boldly, too, knowing exactly what we are doing when we do it. Either way, it's our own fault.
I don't know about you, but in my life, God weighs in heavy on the mercy and grace and goes light on justice.
God forbid I ever forget gratitude for forgiveness.

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