Heathdale flower 23rd May 2019

Principal News #8 - It's Just Wrong!

When wrongly convicted Malcolm Alexander was released after 38 years in prison, he said, "You cannot be angry, there’s not enough time to be angry!”

Heathdale flower

On January 30, 2018, almost 38 years after his conviction, Malcolm Alexander walked out of prison a free man. DNA evidence totally exonerated Alexander, who had steadfastly maintained his innocence amid a myriad of court proceedings that were tragically unjust! A combination of an incompetent defence attorney, who was later disbarred, shoddy evidence and dubious investigation had placed him in jail for 38 years and now he was free to leave prison as an innocent man.

When Alexander was finally able to walk out of the prison he was able to show an incredible level of grace that caught many people by surprise. They had expected that he would have been bitter and twisted for losing nearly four decade of his life, accused of something he never did.

When he was asked the obvious question by reporters, “How do you feel?” his response left them momentarily speechless.

Alexander simply said, “You cannot be angry, there’s not enough time to be angry!”

These words resonated with me as they embody a deep grace. I don’t know about you but if I had been falsely accused of and found guilty of a crime I didn’t commit, lost 38 years of my life and had my reputation destroyed, I doubt my response would have mimicked his. I probably would have been angry, even furious, looking for someone to pay for the injustice I had endured. I would have lacked all sense of grace!

Alexander’s action reflected a heart that, rather than seeking revenge, exhibited the kind of grace spelled out by Apostle Peter in the New Testament.
In 1 Peter 3:9 he wrote, “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult.” Peter then goes a step further and states that, rather than seek vengeance, we should seek to bless those who have brought the injustice. We are to extend forgiveness and the hope of well-being to those who have unjustly wronged us. Without excusing their wrong actions, we can meet them with a God-given ability to demonstrate mercy and forgiveness, even though they may not have earned it!

God’s desire is for us to act this way as it is exactly how He has treated us. On the cross, Jesus bore the burden for our wrongs against God so that we might instead receive God’s mercy and grace rather than judgement.

We may not have been wrongly convicted and spent decades in jail, but every day, in different ways, we may feel like someone has wronged us.

In such moments, my hope for our students and this community is that we will be people like Alexander who would cry out to God and say, ‘Lord, it’s hard not to want to hurt those who hurt us. Help me Lord to live out Your mercy and grace”.

May our students grow in their knowledge and experience of this quality as they journey through this vibrant community and may these be the qualities our community is known for and shares each and every day.