The man’s younger sister with whom he bonded during their significantly turbulent childhood, Betty Anne Waters (played by Hilary Swank), spends nearly two decades championing his innocense. Along the way, she earns a college degree, attends law school and passes the bar. Through the help of Barry Scheck and the Innocence Project, DNA evidence exonerates Kenny Waters and he is set free.
Throughout my life, stories from the Bible (Joseph, Daniel, Silas, Paul, the thief on the cross, the adulterous woman, etc.) have taught me just how much God loves and cares for prisoners, the guilty and innocent ones alike. This attribute of His love does not change with the attributes of captivity: literal or figurative; warranted or unwarranted; delivered by a judicial system within a democracy or a totalitarian regime. Moreover, repeat exposure to this message, especially during formative years, lays a foundation for an indwelling of crushing sadness. It is sorrow borrowed from God and it is not holiness that procures it, but willingness.
It’s like God weaves pieces of his DNA into us each time we pursue mercy or pinch off the bread of Holy Scripture. Maybe it is microscopic, but its pattern is undeniable. The world finds it suspicious; difficult to understand; hard to name; curious and strange. We will never be able to explain the love of God or how it works in us to change the world.
The burden so many of us carry for the wrongfully imprisoned and even those whom we believe have been given harsher sentences than they deserve, is rarely evidenced in the public square of life. We are busy, and it appears our passing prayers are all we have to offer. I mean, really, what can we do beyond praying at stoplights? I ask God to comfort the prisoners he regularly brings to my mind. I also regularly pray for comfort for the families of several victims.
For $500 you can purchase a friend-level sponsorship. Sometimes, we must put feet to our prayers.
Photo: Sam Rockwell playes Kenny Waters in the movie Conviction.