By Kristen Johnson
22 years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. Going from a place of despair to forgiveness? Seems inconceivable. That’s why I’m lending my support and prayer for this amazing man by the name of Nick Yarris.
I’ve ordered a shirt to lend support to the campaign called #ImWithNick because Mr. Yarris sends a significant amount of the proceeds to philanthropic causes, including The Innocence Project which is the entire reason he is out of prison in the first place. I’ve also ordered a copy of his book, which I will report on once I have finished reading it. To order a shirt or sweatshirt (I’m happy to report is all made in the U.S., with no sweatshop labor) see here: https://nickyarris.org/collections/the-shop.
What I find most amazing about Nick Yarris is his focus on getting past anger and bitterness. I can’t even begin to imagine having 22 years of my life stripped from me, my formative career years snatched away, my family and friends stripped away, and a community filled with people who villify you – all when you’ve literally done not a single thing wrong. But, Mr. Yarris has gone on an amazing journey to channeling all of these experiences into finding something good:
When you are “With Nick”, you are in support of bringing out the good that our world is in dire need of and against two things, anger and bitterness. Anger is the poison of our ego that drives us into our darkest form, while bitterness is the willful hurt we cause ourselves in disappointment for what our expectations failed to become. We must support each other and know that anger and bitterness are poison, while love and kindness, in their truest forms, can change the world. (NickYarris.org).
I can find not a single thing in this beautiful statement that doesn’t come right out of the Bible, in so many words. Anger and bitterness are, in fact, poison, and yes – I truly believe if we practiced love and kindness every single day we could absolutely change the world.
Thank you, Mr. Yarris, for absolutely inspiring me to get past any ridiculous little grievances I may have against my neighbor. Thank you for inspiring me to continue towards my goal of love and kindness for absolutely everyone – particularly for people who have hurt me.
I have absolutely no idea what Mr. Yarris’ religious background may be, but I do know without a shadow of a doubt that he is “living the Church” in his quest to practice forgiveness and an end to bitterness.
To find out more about Nick Yarris, or to order his book, see here: https://nickyarris.org.
Ephesians 4:31 (NRSV): Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice,
Serve all with love.
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