My fourth grade teacher had taken us outside for exercise, to run around the schoolyard several times. My friend and I were running together when she decided to take a shortcut around a tree, tripped on a root and fell. I helped her up, and when the teacher asked what happened, my friend said I had shoved her and knocked her down. I denied it, but the teacher said I would have to apologize or stay after school. I was punished for something I didn’t do.
These days we hear about people sentenced to life in prison for heinous crimes being released after several decades because new scientific evidence proves that they had been wrongly convicted. If after 70 years this psalm reminded me of my very minor unjust treatment in the schoolyard, I wonder how these formerly imprisoned people are dealing with their unjust treatment and the loss of such a large part of their lives. Are they among the blessed who have heard the gospel of forgiveness and been drawn to Jesus Christ? Will they be able to walk in their integrity because they are God’s redeemed people?
Lord Jesus Christ, bless the lawyers who work to free innocent prisoners and the chaplains who lead them to eternal life. May their ministry bring justice, freedom and peace. Amen. — JCH