I did not know who Brandt Jean was two days ago, but now I view him as the most prominent and shocking example of pure forgiveness.
I followed the trial of Amber Guyger, and it was hard to watch to say the least. For those who do not know, Amber Guyger was an off-duty cop who mistakingly walked into the wrong apartment. As she opened the door she saw Botham Jean, a 26-year- old accountant from Saint Lucia. He was eating vanilla ice cream and watching TV. Amber Guyger fatally shot him.
To make that clear, Amber Guyger shot an innocent man in his own apartment.
That is the bottom line, no matter the circumstances she claim happened, (that Botham Jean ran at her, and that she gave him vocal commands as warning before she shot him, neither of which could be proven true) no matter if Guyger was startled by her own wrongdoing, Botham Jean is now no longer alive because of her actions. His family members' lives are forever changed, and they will always hold an empty spot in their hearts for their beloved son, brother, nephew and friend.
Botham Jean had a younger brother, Brandt Jean. I could not believe my eyes when I saw a photo of him embracing his brother's killer, but it was very real and very sincere.
Brandt took the stand during her trial this week and professed his true forgiveness for her. If you have not seen him do so, I highly suggest watching it. It is obvious that it is extremely hard for Brandt to be on the stand to begin with, but he carries himself with so much grace and compassion, it moved me to tears. He stopped after he spoke and asked the judge if he could hug Guyger, which was absolutely jaw-dropping.
Everyone struggles with forgiveness, nobody finds it easy to show mercy to those who have hurt us. Amber Guyger wrongly took the life of Brandt Jean's innocent older brother, and he still found the strength to forgive her — something I, or most people, could never do. He is a symbol of forgiveness, and I will always find inspiration in his testimony.