Justice 

Fifteen years ago I had just purchased a new album by a songwriter that I loved and then drove out to my friends house to work on songs. I’d been there for less than an hour when my phone rang. When Mama called it could be any number of things. She could be wanting to make dinner plans, seeing how my day had gone, or who knows what else. To say I was shocked by what she had to say would be a huge understatement.  

“Get to the library downtown as fast as you can; Daddy’s been carjacked.” 

He’d been killing time at the library waiting to pick Mama up at work, and was sitting in the car with the windows down getting his things in order. Before he knew it, three young men were standing next to him with a gun to his head. 

As scary as the situation was, I can’t help but laugh at the mental image of this part of the story. You see, Daddy’s a mountain of a man. Shoulders as broad as the side of the barn your friend can’t hit in target practice and tall as that tree in the yard you always worry about falling on the house in a tornado. I wish I could have seen the looks on their faces when they said to get out of the car and he just kept getting out.  

Daddy’s cool head kept anything from escalting and they found the car abandoned a few blocks away by the time I got there. At this point it’s just a mostly funny story we tell, but every once in a while I think about those three men. It would have been easy for Daddy to be angry about what happened. It’d be understandable for him to have been traumatized. It’d be reasonable to feel like justice was not served when the police had no leads on who it was that stole the car.  

The odds are those men continued down the path they were on that day, and that makes me sadder for them than I was ever angry at them. The truth is, that fact is a crueler justice than any court could have ever dreamed up.  

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