I just received a phone call from my brother David. It was not the news we wanted to hear. The federal parole board has denied his request for early release despite his record of time served and good behavior. He will continue to reside in the federal facility in Big Spring, Texas, until June 5, 2010 (next year).
David sounded a little down, as one can expect. But he was not surprised. It seems that some decisions about situations are made up ahead of time, before anyone is brought forward for important conversation and discussion. Some interpret rules and regulations as items set in stone, rather than fair guidelines that can be given some latitude and discretion. The tone of the meeting was one of legal justice, not one of bringing about a way of reclaiming and rehabilitating a life for transition back into society based on 7 years of good time in incarceration.
Anyway, that was that.
It reminds me that God does not work that way. There are certainties, that's for sure. God has given his command to obey and serve according to his ways, including the Ten Commandments and such. But, when we fail, when we make errors, when we sin, when we miss the mark of perfection.....that's when God's grace is sufficient and amazing. We come to the Lord on his terms, and he is willing to forgive and make a way of reconciliation and redemption. Justice is tempered with mercy.