Sunday, March 13, 2005

She Saw The Humanity 

I don't know if the rest of the country was as affected by the shootings here in Atlanta and the man hunt for Brian Nichols, however most of us here in the Atlanta area were pretty shaken up by it.

I turned on the news this evening and they showed 7-10 minutes of the press conference with Ashley Smith, the last woman that Brian Nichols held hostage before he surrendered.

This woman went through an absolutely terrifying experience, but still was able to see the humanity in Brian Nichols. Most people in a similar situation wouldn't be able to do that. How admirable this woman is to be able to see beyond the man who killed 3 other people in cold blood, and see the human that lay beneath.

She spoke about how they talked about their families and things that had happened in their lives. She told how she read to him from the Bible and "The Purpose Driven Life." She related how this man just wanted to eat a good meal, watch some TV and sleep.

I'm sure you remember a few years back when the big catch phrase was "WWJD?" or "What Would Jesus Do?" Well folks - I believe what Ashley Smith did during a harrowing 10 hours she spent with Brian Nichols is your answer.

Brian Nichols was accused of a horrific rape that brought him into Judge Barnes' courtroom. He killed Judge Rowland Barnes, court reporter Julie Ann Brandau, sheriff's deputy Hoyt Teasley and Federal Agent David Wilhelm. He critically injured sheriff's deputy Cynthia Ann Hall, pistol whipped Atlanta Journal Constitution reporter Don O'Briant, and mugged several people and carjacked several more people. Finally, he held a gun to Ashley Smith as she returned home early Saturday morning and held her hostage until she was able to get away and call the police. Shortly thereafter, he surrendered. However, despite the harrowing fear that Brian Nichols put in the hearts of the citizens of the Atlanta area, and the incredible sorrow he gave the victims of murders, Ashley Smith saw his humanity.

With it being so near Easter, I can't help but think about Jesus Christ seeing the humanity in the people that tortured him in the last hours of his life. He even went so far as to say, "Forgive them Father for they know not what they do." From what I heard, Ashley Smith did not ask us to forgive Brian Nichols. However she did remind us of his humanity, and in my opinion, that is definitely something Jesus would have done.

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