This is Christian triumph

Dec 13th

Just over a week ago, the life of Richard Houston II, a 21-year veteran of the Mesquite, Texas, police department, was taken by a gun-wielding man in a parking lot. Jamie Jaramillo, mistress by his side, had just been confronted by his wife about his infidelity. Officer Houston took the call to respond to the disturbance and upon arriving attempted to talk with Jaramillo.

For reasons that weren't immediately clear, Jaramillo pulled out a gun, shot Houston twice in the chest, and then turned the gun on himself. The gunman has survived his self-inflicted wound to the head, but the 46-year-old Houston died at the scene, leaving behind a wife and three children.

But thankfully, that isn't all he left behind. According to colleagues, Houston was a man of strong faith, a fact substantiated not just by the personal Bible that always accompanied him in his squad car, but by this – the testimony of grace his 18-year-old daughter Shelby delivered at the heart-wrenching funeral.

If emotionally you can't handle watching it, at least read the transcript below:

"I remember having conversations with my dad about him losing friends and officers in the line of duty. I've heard all the stories you can think of, but I've always had such a hard time with how the suspect is dealt with. Not that I didn't think there should be justice served, but my heart always ached for those who don't know Jesus – their actions being a reflection of that.

I was always told that I would feel differently if it happened to me. But as it's happened to my own father, I think I still feel the same. There has been anger, sadness, grief, and confusion. And part of me wishes I could despise the man who did this to my father. But I can't get any part of my heart to hate him.

All I can find is myself hoping and praying for this man to truly know Jesus. I thought this might change if the man continued to live. But when I heard the news that he was in stable condition, part of me was relieved. My prayer is that someday down the road, I'd get to spend some time with the man who shot my father, not to scream at him, not to yell at him, not to scold him. Simply to tell him about Jesus."

I'm not exaggerating when I say that there is no force on earth that can explain that. What Christ will do in your heart cannot and will not be found anywhere else. In one sense, those 90 seconds were a complete validation of Richard Houston's life work. For a Christian, our lives are ordered by a primary intent to glorify God in all things – an objective that begins in our homes and with those He has entrusted to us. A Christian takes joy in teaching our children to love God more than anything in this world, and to love the things He loves – things like grace, forgiveness, and mercy.

That any 18-year-old could muster the composure to speak at her own father's funeral is remarkable. But to put on full display such an embodiment of those very divine, Christlike qualities, is proof itself that Richard Houston's race was won.

But in a deeper sense, those words that Shelby spoke last Thursday, that are echoing to millions through social media even this very hour, demonstrate the elegant simplicity of Christianity's appeal.

In the end, Christian triumph isn't marked by successful policy agendas, intellectual parity, or cultural supremacy.

It's marked by a broken-hearted 18-year-old young woman penetrating the callousness of a murderer's soul with the saving words, "I love you, let me tell you about Jesus."


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