I participated in my first caucus this week. Living in Iowa, is a big deal this time of year. This election seems to be an even bigger deal with a record-breaking attendance in Storm Lake.
As I prepared for it, I researched the candidates, I read up on the issues, and did my best to ignore the overwhelming number of attack ads all over the place. The experience itself was kind of intense. And I felt like my vote mattered.
One thing I was disappointed in was people’s stance on the death penalty. This is a big issue for me and it didn’t seem that way to many candidates. While visiting the Louisiana State Penitentiary this summer, my view on the death penalty changed. We toured the lethal injection room, I saw the table where inmates eat their last meal, walked down death row, and stood in front of the table. I pictured someone strapped to the cot and no matter what they did in my imagination, I couldn’t get their family, friends, and lives out of my head. They’re people who made stupid decisions. But I can’t justify killing people. I choose to believe in second chances. In grace. In redemption.
Check out this article for more of where I’m coming from. Here’s a sneak peek.
Grace shines bright in the face of evil. But grace can be a scandalous thing, as we can see Jesus forgiving those who kill him – and as we see the stunning stories of murder victim’s families who stand against execution, many of whom are fueled by their faith.
We dare not forget the story – of a God who so loved the world that Jesus was sent, not to condemn the world but to save it. We must not forget that much of the Bible was written by murderers who were given a second chance. Moses. David. Paul.
The Bible would be much shorter without grace. And our churches would be empty if we killed everyone who was deserving of death.