Isaiah 3:13 13 The LORD takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people.
Today’s story is gutwrenchingly awful, followed up by knowledge that is overwhelmingly powerful – just like life in action.
A few years ago, I got hired to go do this big death penalty murder trial in Ohio. I arrive, knowing nothing about the case, so it’s almost like I’m a juror, a fly on the wall, just hearing this case developed with all the rest of those in the audience. The trial was of a young African-American man, good looking kid, looked nice as could be. The charge was murder. Seems a college-age girl had gone missing in Columbus one weeknight after working her shift in a bar, having been given a ride home by this young man (supposedly). He had been interviewed and said he dropped her off near her apartment and never saw her again. Her friends knew something was up when she didn’t show up for a margarita party they had planned, and her contribution was the blender. She had purchased a new blender for the party, each of the girls had purchased items to share, and they had planned it for a long time and they knew she would not miss it. She had not been heard from since the night before at work.
They took a good bit of time developing this girl’s personality, and you really felt like you knew her. She was very hard working, quirky, had a duct-tape wallet that she ALWAYS had with her, had a habit of wearing those panties that say “Monday,” “Tuesday,” etc. on them. I sit there sometimes and wonder if something happened to me, what in the world would they say about who I was? Kind of a scary thought…..
Anyway, this girl goes missing and months and months go by with no word, no leads of any type. This was back before the Internet was what it is today, so her friends and family made flyers, tried to get as much publicity as they could. All to no avail. About nine months after her disappearance, a man is knocking on the door of a trailer out in the woods in another county of Ohio that’s about an hour and a half away from her college when he smells something terrible, something that just isn’t right. He couldn’t find the owner of the trailer, so he calls the police, and they come and begin to search. In the closet of this trailer is a body, fully clothed, rolled up in a rug. She has been there almost a year and has hardly decomposed because the winter was very cold and it hadn’t gotten hot in the current summer. Really unbelievable.
They begin to investigate and find that the trailer belongs to this young man or a relative of his or someone connected to him. And that he worked with her. And he was the one who supposedly gave her a ride home that night. While logging the evidence at the trailer, they came upon this pottery thing in the yard where you’d burn trash or have a wiener roast or whatever, and in sifting through the ashes, they find what they believe to be fingers, or a part of a finger, or a toe, or part of a toe. Very curious. Her body was totally intact, no evidence even of sexual assault. They start looking at other missing persons records and find that there was a man who had come up missing about six months prior, sort of a homeless person, but guess what? He had last been seen with this young man.
They start a search of the yard, the whole area surrounding the trailer. The bring in this forensic anthropologist, a woman about 75 years old, and she makes a grid in the yard of squares and begins to dig and comb through the dirt. Before long, they have an entire body, all cut up and buried in different places, hidden randomly throughout this property. They were able to measure the bones and pretty much identify that it was positively this homeless guy as he was almost 6’6” tall and had a previous injury that showed up in the leg bones. This whole case was riveting, in a macabre sort of way – not that I enjoy things like this at all, but the prosecutor did a phenomenal job tying the evidence together, painting a picture of these missing ones, making them real people who had lives and loves and family and dreams.
This young man had been in juvenile detention for MURDER, and while there, he got romantically involved with this Indian woman who was his guard, and they got married when he got out! She was very traditional Indian, long black hair, braided, almost down to her rear, little beads in it. She wasn’t there every day as they had small children, but after he was convicted, she came in to testify in the death penalty phase of the trial, talking about what a good father he was, all this junk – oh, right, great father (when he’s not off murdering people and cutting them up!) It was truly a spectacle.
I tell this story to tell you this: This forensic anthropologist gave the most incredible testimony I have ever heard. She took those finger and toe bones, and she could tell that -even though they had been burned in this fire, buried for months – that those toes and fingers had been cut off while this man was still alive! Yes, you know how? She delivered the most impassioned argument for the existence of God I have ever heard – and she may have been an atheist, for all I know. She says that the INSTANT we are hurt, the INSTANT our bodies suffer an injury, they begin to heal themselves. The INSTANT! That means that she could see on these burned up, chopped up bones that they had already started to heal themselves, to try to grow back over where they had been chopped off. Isn’t that incredible? She believed they were chopped off a couple of days before the death occurred. Wow.
This young man celebrated his 21st birthday on the day the jury was deciding to give him the death penalty. He was out in the courtroom, in the shackles and chains, dancing by the defense table in the courtroom, singing “Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me.” It was a bizarre two weeks, I’ll tell you that. But I have NEVER FORGOTTEN that EVIDENCE that our God is alive, He is real, He is our creator, He is our deliverer, our healer! You think a big bang created this universe that works in sync with nature and the animals and ocean and sea creatures and humans whose bodies heal themselves? Humans that procreate from a little gel substance that grows into children? A big bang did that? Don’t think so. And frankly, these liberals that want to spout this nonsense just show their stupidity, if you ask me – sometimes the things they say make such little sense that I can’t believe they even say it out loud, but boy, a bunch of other idiots will jump right on the bandwagon with them – all in the name of “I am my own god, I don’t need someone judging me, telling me what to do.” Sad what they are missing not knowing that God who isn’t a judge, but is a comforter, a forgiver of sins, a mercy giver….
I know a lot of you read my posts and don’t comment – but I would ask you today, if you believe God isn’t dead, give us a little comment on why! My comment is: My God isn’t dead, because He talks to me, He convicts me, He soothes me, He makes His presence known every day….
My name is Teresa Evans. I am a wife to Tom, a retired Circuit Judge, and I am a court reporter by trade, a mother by God's grace and a lover of Jesus Christ. I've grown up in a family blessed with many miracles, and have received multiple miracles myself.