My blood ran cold as JJ recounted the harrowing events of the night …
He had forced his way into her home and almost beat her to death when she put up a fight. He vowed he would kill her, but he had not counted on one who prayed as she fought.
She had never spoken to him and knew him only as ‘the handyman next door’, but he had seen her – a single woman living alone in her own home – and had decided that she had no right to a quiet life spent working with her hands. He had been waiting for the perfect time to make his move and he knew there would be no one to stand in her defence.
Beaten in the head with a piece of lumber, she found her voice and started screaming. Her assailant took off running as his efforts to beat her into submission proved futile. She dragged herself out of the house and got the attention of neighbours who in turn called the police.
As it turns out, the man was well-known and could be found easily. However, by the time the case dragged through the Jamaican justice system, she discovered that her assailant had connections in the constabulary force. He had officer ‘friends’ that provided alibis and they insisted that his speech impediment made it impossible for him to utter the threat that she testified he did, despite evidence to the contrary.
To add insult to injury, she was treated as villain rather than victim when she took the stand to recount the events of that fateful night, as the lawyer they commissioned purposed to reduce her to a nervous wreck.
Nine months later, her assailant walked free.
She could appeal to a higher court, but she will not. She is letting it go… not for him, but for herself. Sleepless nights and serious paranoia marked the months after the attack and she is taking her life back. No more court dates that end with her looking frazzled, while her interior design business suffers. No more.
JJ believes in a God who can heal whatever He allows and who can sprout flowers from her pains… a God whose Justice System is beyond reproach. Thrown under the bus by the Jamaican justice system, her faith could have fizzled in the aftermath, but it did not. It got stronger.
Isn’t that what we always say? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…
The great majority of folk who spit out that phrase have never come close to being killed, but JJ puts flesh of that old saying as she grows daily in her relationship with her Creator. Today, her assailant walks through the neighbourhood with a perpetual grin, but she refuses to waste any more time making him the focus of her thoughts. There is life to be lived in spite of him.
Why tell her story?
Maybe seeing it typed up in black-on-white will help my own mind process it more completely…
I happen to know a little something about being thrown under the bus and there is nothing quite like it to make you question your purpose, but as JJ heals her life makes it clear that she is still swinging.
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)
Is Romans 12:19 still relevant in this contemporary age where we are encouraged to clamour for our rights… often at the expense of our productivity and mental health?
JJ certainly believes so… and I concur.
May God continue to uphold her as she aims for that home run.