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Tagging out

I received word today that Shawn was released from the Miami-Dade Correctional Facility on Monday. He has a new court date now scheduled for February. My immediate thought was that he didn’t get my letter. Then I thought of the Pastor friend from Miami that was going to go visit him this week. We missed it. We had a very small chance to get to him and we missed it. The “system” let us down. They released a man that was to be held on a crime because they were too crowded to hold him. The facility is filled with too many others with far worse crimes.

From an update perspective, this makes things much more difficult. Finding Shawn on the streets of Miami from Columbus, Ohio will be next to impossible. I won’t give up the pursuit but the area of focus just became very, very large. Am I disappointed? Yes. Am I sorry I tried? No.

Because God sent someone to look for me more than once too.

One thing I have learned over and over and over again in this life is that it’s about stepping into opportunities. I entered this search believing beyond a shadow of a doubt that we would find Shawn. Did we succeed? No. Yet life isn’t always going to produce success. Life is meant to be leaned into. Opportunities are meant to be seized. Bob Goff said it like this.

“…I want someone else’s suffering to matter more to me. I want to slug it out where I can make a meaningful difference. God says He wants us to battle injustice, to look out for orphans and widows, to give sacrificially. And anyone who gets distracted with the minutiae of this point or that opinion is tagging out of the real skirmish. God wants us to get some skin in the game and to help make a tangible difference. I can’t make a real need matter to me by listening to a story, visiting a website, collecting information, or wearing a bracelet.” (Love Does)

I will continue the search for Shawn because people never gave up on me. I want his brokenness to matter to me. I’m not tagging out. I’m leaning in even further. If you read this and you’ve recently faced a disappointment, don’t give up. God may be sending someone to look for you too. Our situations don’t have to be as desperate as Shawn’s. Each of us face a struggle and I believe beyond a shadow of doubt that someone is looking for us too. If you’re that one, don’t quit looking. If you’re the one struggling, don’t quit waiting.

Don’t tag out. Tomorrow is another day.


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Comments · 3

  • beejsteph · January 10, 2013

    Thanks For The Update On your Friend Shawn. My Heart Truly Goes Out To This Young Man, As I Have A Brother That Has Been In And Out Of Florida, And Ohio Prisons Since He Was 14 Yrs Old. I Have Only Seen My Brother Donnie Twice In the Last 30 Yrs. The Last Time I Saw Him Was The Summer Of 1993. He Got Out Of A Florida Prison In 2008, And NOBODY In Our Family Has Seen Nor Heard From Him Since.
    I Pray that My Cousin Nelson Coblentz, And Many People Who Once Knew And Loved My Brother…Don’t EVER Stop Looking For Him..I Know I WON’T!!
    Having Been Given The Book LOVE DOES By You And Heather..Has TOTALLY CHANGED MY LIFE, And How I “DO LOVE”!!! Thank You So Much For Giving Me That Book. Stephen Will Be Reading It Next…After He Finishes What He Is Reading Now.
    Keep Posting About Your Friend Shawn!! I Know That The Battle In Finding Him Is NOT OVER BY A LONG SHOT!!! If You Know The Court Date…Certainly Someone You Know…If Not You Yourself…Could Go And Be There For Shawn’s Court Appearance!! :)
    Somehow, I Don’t Think That This Is Where The Story Ends…Keep Us Posted As We All Keep Praying!! :) Blessings To You And Heather And The Kids!! :)

  • Aaron · January 10, 2013

    Thanks BJ. You are always an encouragement to me. Glad you are enjoying “Love Does.” It is such a great book. I literally refer to it and read my highlights weekly.

  • Matt Morelli · January 10, 2013

    Aaron – try the Miami Dade Public Defender’s Office. The number is 305.545.1600 – Shawn is likely represented by a public defender who will meet with him at some time. They’re usually good souls who would appreciate what you’re trying to do. I’m sure if you got a letter to whoever is representing him they would pass it on.

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