Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mike Huckabee and Compassion’s Choice

(by R.P.Edwards)

Compassion is a priceless bloom
To thrive, a heart must give it room
No place for greed and selfish gain
No bed for anger’s shoots of pain
No vines of fear that choke the life
No calloused stones of hate and strife
But only soil, rich and red
Where love can grow, from heaven fed
And growing, reaches past the skin
Perchance to touch…and welcome in
Perchance to share your answered cry
When sorrow shouted how?! and why?!
 And you received compassion's bloom
Because the Savior…gave it room

I imagine it can be quite humbling; to realize that thousands of your peers...have loaned you their power, their strength, their trust.  Yes, as chief executive of the state, as governor, your words carry weight.  Your judgment will effect lives; set things in motion that will change, alter, direct streams that will run (and hopefully not ruin) long after your term attains lame duck status.

Then governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, had on his desk a request for commutation.  An inmate by the name of Maurice Clemmons had, as a sixteen year old, committed crimes that earned him a sentence of over one hundred years.  The governor weighed the request, considered the circumstances, and sided with compassion.  He lessened the offenders time to forty seven years, which made him eligible for parole.  It was not a free pass by any means, but it was at least a chance to not let teenage mistakes...ruin a whole life.

Now fast forward to 2009.  Maurice Clemmons, who, because of the compassionate act of a governor, did indeed breath freedoms air once more; well, instead of a new, fresh start, his life spiraled downward, culminating, many years later, in the murder of four police officers.  He was later gunned down. 

Understandably, Mike Huckabee, upon learning of the tragic events, could only offer..."If I had known."  And, naturally, there are those who will try to demonize the man, even going so far as to link him with former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis' disastrous prisoner furlough program.  But, to the objective and open, given the information he was given, his decision was understandable, even laudable.  And, although I join the nation in mourning the death of the innocent, and grieve over the ongoing suffering of their families,  concerning Mike Huckabee, I'd trade him for just about any politician who now sits in congress...or the white house.

Two weeks ago a fairly young (compared to me) minister stood behind the pulpit and gave a message of hope.  He spoke of a Savior whose compassion had reached down to him, even in his prison cell, and lifted him up.  This former criminal is a felon, and his early transgressions could have kept him behind bars...for life.  But compassion had its way and now his life is a blessing.  How terribly sad, that the life of Maurice Clemmons...took a different tack. 

That's what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below...and say.

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