I just read about Brian Banks, a guy who at age 27 is trying out for the Atlanta Falcons. Thursday night, he played in the team’s first preseason game. What took him so long to get to the NFL? At the tender age of sixteen, Brian was wrongfully convicted of rape. He spent five years in prison and four more years wearing a monitoring device. It was a case of “he said, she said.” The accuser later recanted her version, and admitted she had not been raped.
Convicted and sentenced, his dream of playing college and professional football went up in smoke. I can only imagine the fear he felt as he was led away in handcuffs for a crime he did not commit. In his blog, he said he saw his world go dark, but through his faith, the light was brought back. Brian told of standing among 100 other wrongfully convicted individuals in my hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. He thought of the lives ruined, time lost, souls forgotten. He wrote that at last, he is able to feel normal again, feel free.
He ends his blog with F.E.A.R. which stands for “false evidence appearing real.”
Although I am not a Falcons fans (They always beat my team, the Carolina Panthers), I will be cheering for Brian to make the team and complete his dream. He has come out of the darkness. His future looks bright.
As a result of an illness that stole six years of my life, I have also been in the darkness. There were times I wanted to give up, but I clung to the hope that I would see the light. And I did! I imagine most of us have been there, maybe not to the extent of Brian, but we’ve been there and came out stronger. Keep the faith.
Football Stadium photo courtesy of akorn