I hate you

Today during Jahar’s status conference, I was looking at a list on Twitter I have that includes Boston journalists who have covered his case. One of them, Laurel J. Sweet (@laurel_sweet), was tweeting about sentencing going on the same time in a different case. While I intended to focus on news about Jahar, I was gravitated toward her tweets, which quoted victim statements in the rape and murder trial of Seth Mazzaglia. Here are some excerpts:

I want you to know unequivocally that I hate you.

You’re a twisted individual who brought only darkness and pain to this world.

You’ll live your days in the dim light you relish.

Monsters really do exist.

I hope you are in solitary confinement for so long that you forget what fresh air smells like.

Not even hell would take such a diseased soul.

You are officially uninvited from society.

It’s the end of the rope, pal.

Rot in hell, you degenerate.

You are pathetic.

This is a glimpse into what almost inevitably will happen with Jahar. If he is convicted in the first part of the trial, the sentencing phase will include victim statements to help the jury determine whether he should receive life without parole or the death penalty. Those statements will likely sound quite similar to those quoted above from Mazzaglia’s sentencing.

That got me thinking about the power that those victim statements could have, not only on the jury but also on Jahar himself.

May the harsh words open his eyes and wake him up to what he did so that he would see it as sin and as something God hates. May such words alert him to his desperate need for forgiveness.

But the good news of the Gospel is that we don’t only have a need for forgiveness; we also have a way to meet that need and receive that forgiveness. Be praying that God would be moving on the hearts of those victims and victims’ family members who will speak at the trial, that even one of them would share with Jahar the love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness that is offered him through Jesus Christ.

What more powerful way for Jahar to be reached with the Gospel than out of the mouth of someone who he would expect to hate him and wish death upon him but instead shares with him a way by which he can receive eternal life.

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5 Responses to I hate you

  1. Aunny-Aunny says:

    How very sad that people feel the need to vent their own frustrations and point them onto someone who, but for the grace of God, could very well have been someone they know or even are related to. I bet their words would change then.

  2. brokenheart4whatbreakshis says:

    As much as I know that “people like” Seth Mazzaglia and Jahar deserve to hear things like that in some sense of the word – as someone who recognizes that we are all human beings made in the image of God – it makes me cringe inside reading stuff like this, and it breaks my heart. How much hate and desire for revenge people can be filled with after an event like this in their lives…. I can’t judge because I have no idea what it’s like to be on the other side, and I pray I never do – but if I was, I would hope that with God’s help I could find it inside me to forgive them and love them as Christ loves me, and I certainly hope you would never hear me saying anything like those words above.

    Someone who has brought darkness and pain to this world can also, by the grace of God, bring so much light. I’ve seen it happen. That’s what we need to focus our energy on…….on loving on them, despite what they have done, and on praying for them to become new creations in Him.

    If we have a Christian brother or sister amongst those victims, I pray that God is working on their heart every day, and that their victim statement would have a radically different kind of impact than the ones above.

    • Bri says:

      If God forbid I’d ever be in a situation like this, you have full permission to slap me if I’d let out words similar to those I shared in the post. What does hatred and unforgiveness solve? Nothing. You’re not just maybe making the perpetrator feel awful; you’re destroying yourself.

      It absolutely breaks my heart to think of Jahar in that courtroom sometime in the probably not-so-distant future hearing terrible things said to him. Like you said, in some sense he deserves it. But at the same time, I love and care about him, so to think about him being treated like he’s worthless garbage that deserves to die hurts. May there be even one person who treats him like someone made in the image of God who can become a brother in Christ.

      • brokenheart4whatbreakshis says:

        I’ll remember that – because you know I would legit slap you! :-p

        I feel the same way sister – when you love someone so deeply, you want to protect them from stuff like that…..but maybe it’s exactly what he needs to hear. We just have to trust that God will let him experience exactly what he needs in order to come to Him….no more and no less.

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