In Benton Harbor Michigan two unlikely people against all odds have accomplished something incredible! In 2005 Jamel McGee was falsely arrested for drug dealing. Former police officer Andrew Collins decided that day he was going to make certain he made a drug bust, and he didn’t care that the man was innocent. He falsified the report, and it put Jamel in jail for 4 years. Andrew was later caught, and went to jail for a year and a half for falsifying numerous reports, stealing, and planting drugs.
The two never thought they would be forced to work together but Benton Harbor is a small town. When they both started working together in a faith based agency’s cafe, they realized they had one huge issue to deal with! Jamel had in the past plotted his revenge, and an opportunity was right in front of him. Jamel confronted Andrew, and Andrew did something unexpected, he finally did the right thing. He didn’t lie, or make excuses for his actions, instead he took responsibility. Andrew told Jamel what he had done was wrong, there was no excuse for his actions, and then he apologized wholeheartedly.
Generally when someone has been wronged badly, and they authentically see that the other person is being real, and is torn up about what they did, the victim able to forgive, and it gives them closure. That is exactly what happened for Jamel. Jamel is a great example of what a real Christian does when they have been harmed. Jesus forgave those who harmed him, he loved his neighbor, prayed for his enemies, he extended grace to them, and all Christians are expected to do the same. Jamel realized a Christian must forgive others as quickly as he wants God to forgive him. When Jamel forgave Andrew, they were both set free of the bondage of unforgiveness. The fact is people do not heal as long as they are holding on to anger, and pain, and are in a state of unforgiveness. Once forgiveness happened they were then able to heal, and move forward in their lives.
God then moved into the situation, and turned it around for the good. The two have become the best of friends, and because of their forgiveness have a loyalty, and love for each other forged through hardship, that is now unbreakable. Think about it how would you feel if someone forgave you for doing something that was so horrible, it was unthinkable? We would all know we didn’t deserve it, but would be immeasurably grateful to the person who forgave us. Now they are able to show other’s by their example, and testimony, the freedom that forgiveness from the heart brings.