John Schmid Music


The Consequences of One Wrong Choice

Duane and Cindy Mullett were friends of Marcus Kaufman, who was shot at his home in N.C. on Dec. 2, 2013. I asked Cindy’s permission to reprint her [heavily edited] blog of the sentencing.

Last week, we sat in a cold, oppressive courtroom. Hushed words were spoken and little emotion was shown on the solemn faces of attorneys and investigators. The defendant’s family members sat on the front rows on the right side of the room. We sat on the left side, supporting the widowed spouse, her grieving parents, in-laws, brothers, sisters and close friends of the deceased victim–a young man; a fireman and soon-to-be first time father. He was senselessly murdered two years ago.

The young man in an orange jumpsuit was escorted into the room, hands and feet in shackles. I saw an elderly woman (the grandmother of the defendant?) wiping tears. Then we heard the deep, heart-wrenching cry, “Oh, my baby!” as the judge said, “Life in prison plus 360 months…”

It’s the same deep agonizing cry Marcus’s parents and family have also been living with, and it was the same cry that became my companion when our son unexpectedly died five years ago. But the cry I heard in the courtroom was different. There are some things harder to live with than death. I wonder if Khari McClelland ever thought about what his choice(s) would do to his mother? To his family? To the Kaufmans? To himself?!

He’d made many other wrong choices prior to this. Choices to love himself and his drugs more than relationships and others’ lives. He’d chosen to think about himself and his wants more than his family.

That day in the cold court room, I saw a beautiful, breathtaking example of making the right choices. The parents and widow looked into the face of the murderer and said, “We forgive you. We’re praying you will find Jesus.”

They choose to forgive. This didn’t happen because they decided that morning to forgive him. And it wasn’t because they felt like forgiving him. No, it was because they had predetermined to think the thoughts that Jesus would think. And these thoughts led to this amazing act of forgiveness.

I was closely watching the others in the room. I saw the effect of those selfless, nearly impossible words spoken to the murderer: “We forgive you.” Investigators, detectives, as well as members of the defendant’s family, were wiping tears.

I pray that someday, Khari McClelland will understand the depth from which this came. We pray he will find the same faith and God’s forgiveness for the choices he’s made. Does he deserve it? No. But do any of us deserve God’s forgiveness?

~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)

“If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matt. 6:14,15

To read Cindy’s original blog:

Forgiving Bullet Bob

The prison band at St. Clair Correctional in Alabama is about as good as it gets. They play like professionals, they have written songs and they even have a music video of their band that has gone to churches outside the walls.

At our We Care Revival chapel service there last week (Jan 25), they sang a song for Bullet Bob. “You guys remember Bob?” the guitar player asked. A cheer of recognition went up from the prison chapel.

“As you know, we made a music video here in our chapel. Our video was being shown at a church in Montgomery and during the presentation, a loud gasp erupted from a woman in the congregation. As she watched the video, the camera scanned the prison chapel and she saw Bullet Bob, the man who had murdered her father! Bob was serving a life sentence for this crime and at the time was in the prison infirmary with terminal cancer. When this woman pulled herself together, she went up and talked to the people who were in charge showing the DVD.”

“How is Bob?” she asked. When she found out that he was basically on his death bed, she asked if she could get a message to him.

“Could you please let Bob know that we as a family forgive him? We have no ill feelings or enmity toward him and we hope that he is right with God. Please let him know that he is forgiven.”

The song leader who was sharing this story in our chapel service told how he was able to go to the prison hospital and deliver this message of forgiveness and freedom.

“The Smith* family wants you to know that they forgive you.” The look on Bullet Bob’s face was one of relief, disbelief, joy, amazement… He looked up at the ceiling from his hospital bed and let out a sigh and began to weep uncontrollably. He died several weeks later. In victory. Forgiven!”

Now folks, no matter how correct and right it is to forgive, that would be tough. I pray that I can be a forgiving person. One of the most terrifying verses in all of scripture is found in Matthew 6 right after the Lord’s Prayer:

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, you heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” -Mt. 6:14,15

If we want forgiveness, we must forgive.

“Forgiveness is the only way to heal.” – Miguel Ruiz

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” -C.S. Lewis

“All I know is that justice did not heal me. Forgiveness did. The cost of forgiveness is nothing compared to the benefits of forgiveness. I feel like I have found new life through forgiveness.” -Debbie Morris, author, Forgiving the Dead Man Walking

“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” -Corrie Ten Boom