A Miracle for Kelly Gissendaner


Every event which might claim to be a miracle is, in the last resort, something presented to our senses, something seen, heard, touched, smelled, or tasted.” –C.S. Lewis, Miracles

Today is the last resort.

Tonight, Kelly Gissendaner faces lethal injection, the reality of an early death, a reality that snatches miracle away from her prayer-clutched hands.

Last night, hundreds gathered on Emory’s campus to remember her, to pray, to try to be part of the miracle. Today, we continue to light our candles and pray. We continue to seek.

I imagine when you’re face to face with death, your senses are fully alert. You know every smell, every sight of every person who passes by you. You feel every tear’s weight upon your cheek, and the air seems to speak in whispers, gathering the voices of everyone you’ve ever loved right to your side. But shadows hover, and there is a heaviness, even in lifting head and hands to the glory of the goodness of God.

But then the miracle intercedes. Then all the walls that you thought were tightly held up come swiftly crashing, and all dangers evaporate on the breath of the wind.

Today we pray for the interceding miracle, for justice to work, for Kingdom to come, for grace to cover and clean again and again.

Today is our last resort, and today, Kelly, we pray for you to be our miracle.

We rejoice in your life of lost and found, of broken and redeemed, in all of your deepest places.

And when we see your face, hear your name, touch our own children, we remember you, and we pray with David:

 Generous in love—God, give grace!
    Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
    soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I’ve been;
    my sins are staring me down.

You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen
    it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;
    whatever you decide about me is fair.
I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,
    in the wrong since before I was born.
What you’re after is truth from the inside out.
    Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.

Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,
    scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
    set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don’t look too close for blemishes,
    give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
    shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash,
    or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
    put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
    so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
    and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
    I’ll let loose with your praise.

We all need the miracle, the sun’s light bursting through darkened brown canopy.

Be our miracle, Kelly.



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