Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Different Plan

Jon's houseguest had come into his life as a result—indirectly, at least—of the incident six months earlier, when Eugene Hackett had physically attacked him at the rec center and then peppered the front of his house with a .45. When Jon had spoken to Hackett at the Los Angeles County Jail, he had assumed that the confrontation and subsequent forgiveness would be the end of it. God, however, seemed to have other plans.

Jon was officially notified by the county that Eugene Hackett was being released. The letter also stated that Eugene's home had been foreclosed upon. However, a citizen sponsor had been found, a sort of big brother "to assist Mr. Hackett in returning to the community as a productive citizen." Citizen sponsors, the letter explained, provided safe, positive living environments as well as mature guidance and companionship. The letter closed with an invitation for Jon to let them know of anyone who might be interested in becoming involved in the program.
Jon had argued with God about it for several days but his resistance was short-lived in the face of such an obviously God-ordained opportunity. Apart from the intervention of a caring adult, Eugene Hackett would likely be an L.A. gang fatality in a matter of a few years if not months. Jon knew that mercy and compassion were every bit as important to God as justice. Once justice had been served, it was time to exercise love. So Jon had volunteered to become a citizen sponsor. As a result, Ben entered Jon's life.

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