A Breathtaking Moment

   Written by on July 31, 2013 at 5:33 pm

By Stephen M. Crotts

So I’m sitting in a local cafe with a good friend who is a court judge. We’re deep in thoughtful conversation and a plate of scallops when our reverie is shattered.

A woman walks in, spots the judge, and in a loud, tearful voice shouts, “Oh, my good Lord, this is the man who took my children and put me in jail three years ago. I was messed up on crack. I neglected my children. And when I had to stand before him, he took my children away from me and put them in foster care.” Every fork in the cafe fell to the table or floor. Mouths gaped. Eyes stared.

She continued. “This here judge gave me a choice between two years in jail or two years in rehab. I took the rehab. That was over three years ago. I’m clean now. My family is back together and I got a job.”

Then she walked over to my friend and gave him a bear hug, all the while exclaiming, “Thank you, Jesus, thank you, Jesus!”

Just as quickly she was gone. The judge and I stood up and clapped. The entire cafe joined us.

Ah, tough love. Oh, bitter pain that speaks hard truth and narrows our choices! Moments of gratitude. Moments of grace—-priceless.

We did not need any dessert.

The Reverend Stephen Crotts is pastor of Village Presbyterian Church in Charlotte Court House, VA. He is also the director of the Carolina Study Center, Inc., a campus ministry, located in Chapel Hill, NC. Pastor Crotts may be reached at carolinastudycenter@msn.com.

Leave a Reply