As a former prosecutor and Oklahoma County District Attorney, several of my murder trials were greatly used by God in my journey of faith. Much of the courtroom drama is in my book, Amazingly Graced, including a chapter about the murder trial surrounding the missing twelve-year-old, Crystal Dittmeyer in the mid-1990s. It was at that moment in my life in which I was brought to the end of my tether and cried out to God for justice on behalf of this child. When I say, “cried out”, I mean, “Cried out!” It was the sort of unparalleled angst that had me on my face, weeping on the floor, hammering God for justice by praying the psalms of David. It was the first time I identified with David and I drank the depths of that man’s impassioned prayers, pleading them before the God of the universe whose very throne sets upon the foundation of justice and righteousness (Ps. 89:14). It was a tremendously difficult case and it changed my life forever, ruining me for any ordinary walk with God.
Recently as I was preparing to share the story of Crystal and the importance of pursuing God with all of our heart when it occurred to me – do I have the same level of passion for the thousands of twelve year olds in our city as I had for Crystal? The thought froze me. Crystal was one innocent child who suffered an injustice and yet there are literally thousands suffering injustice in our city every day. Do they matter to me as that one child did? I had to answer “no”. Every day these kids live proverbial lives of quiet and not-so-quiet desperation. Sometimes they are indeed murdered. Sometimes they are abused. Sometimes they are hungry. Whatever their circumstance, these children are many and they live without hope and a God-vision of what He is willing for them to experience. And I could not summon a fraction of the zealous passion for them like I could for Crystal.
Several years before that murder trial I pointedly asked God to make me a man after His heart like David. I realized then that I was not a man of compassion for others and that I needed God to make me so – which He indeed did over time. My recent remembrance of the story of Crystal Dittmeyer has caused me to come before God again. I need to Him to give me something again that I can see has gone missing. Perhaps it is missing for you as well.
Becoming a city of salt and light means that there is justice for all the children. It is incumbent upon us as leaders to pursue that future with all of our hearts for God has a particular passion for children and strong feelings against their oppressors. I suspect He has feelings as well toward the indifferent leaders He has left in charge.
O God, renew my zeal that I would feel as impassioned for the work of justice for the suffering children of our city as I felt for the pursuit of justice for Crystal Dittmeyer.
Salt and Light Leadership Training, Inc. (SALLT)
New Heavens, New Earth
(written as a gift to SALLT)
Music and Lyrics by:
©2015 Kyle Dillingham, LLC