Robert Thornhill
Lady Justice and the Bad Seed


Lady Justice and the Bad Seed

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Walt is surprised to learn that his old partner, Ox, has a brother.

Ox had never mentioned Lenny who was serving time in prison.

    Ox was just as surprised when Lenny showed up at his door claiming he had found religion

and turned his life around. He was even more surprised to learn that his brother,

the bad seed of the family, was now an ordained minister.

    As Lenny’s ministry grows by leaps and bounds, Walt and his friends are skeptical.

Was Lenny’s conversion real or is it an elaborate con?

    Walt is faced with the age-old question --- can people really change? What do you think?



    As Leonard Wilson stepped into the bright sunlight, he heard the doors of the Moberly Correctional Center close behind him.

    This was the first time in fifteen years he had set foot outside of the prison. He took a deep breath, filling his lungs with the sweet smell of freedom.

    He smiled as he saw a man approach. It was Carl Henderson, the only friend who had stood by him during his incarceration.

    After an emotional embrace, Carl held Leonard at arm’s length. “How’s it feel to be free at last?”

    “Unbelievable!” he replied, his eyes glistening. “Now I can move forward and fulfill my destiny. Do you have everything ready?”

    Carl nodded. “It’s all set up, just as you asked. What do you want to do first?”

    “Head back to Kansas City,” Leonard replied. “The first thing I want to do is see my little brother, George.”




    George Wilson, nicknamed Ox by his fellow officers, and his wife, Judy, had just sat down at the supper table when they heard a knock on the door.

    “Are you expecting someone?” Judy asked.

    “Nope, probably a salesman. If it is, I’ll send him on his way.”

    Ox peeked through the peep hole and his mouth dropped open. “Lenny?”

    He opened the door and just stood there, staring.

    “Well,” Lenny said, grinning, “aren’t you going to invite your big brother inside?”

    At that moment, Judy entered the room and stared at the stranger. “Ox, who is this?”

    Lenny pushed past Ox and stuck out his hand. “You must be Judy. I’ve been so anxious to meet you. I’m Lenny, Ox’s brother.”

    Now Judy’s mouth dropped open. Her husband had only mentioned his brother once, telling her he was serving a prison term. Sensing it was a painful subject, Judy had never pressed the matter.

    Ox had gotten past his initial shock. “I don’t understand. Your sentence was for twenty years and it’s only been fifteen. How ---?”

    “I made parole. They cut five years off my sentence. Good behavior. Can you believe that?”

    Ox shrugged. “Well ---.”

    “I understand. My name in the same sentence as good behavior just doesn’t add up. Ox, that was the old me. I’ve changed.”

    “Changed? How?”

    “You may find this hard to believe, but I have seen the light. I have found Jesus and He’s steered me into the path of righteousness.”

    That was the last thing Ox expected to hear from his brother.

    “I know, I know,” Lenny said, “your hell-raising brother a convert to Christ. Hard to believe, but it’s true. Let’s sit down and I’ll tell you all about it.”

    Still dumbfounded, Ox and Judy took their seats.

    Lenny had a far-away look in his eyes as he spoke. “When I first went in, I had a huge chip on my shoulder. Nobody was going to mess with big, tough Lenny. I found out real quick that I wasn’t so tough.

    “I got crossways with the wrong guys, and one night they beat me nearly to death. I was so near gone, they brought in the chaplain.

    “That night, as I laid there, the chaplain was reading the Twenty-third psalm. When he got to the part that said, ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me,’ I saw a light. The light kept getting brighter and I saw Him! I actually saw Him! He didn’t speak, but somehow I knew that if I mended my wicked ways, He would lead me into a new life.

    “That night changed everything. I joined the chaplain’s prayer group and started studying the scripture. Eventually, I felt God calling and heeded his call. Your brother is now an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church.”

    Ox couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “You? A preacher?”

    “Indeed, brother. The Lord works in mysterious ways.”

    “How did you find me? We haven’t spoken ---.”

    “Yes, I know. We haven’t spoken since the day I was sent to prison. You never visited and I can’t really blame you. I was the black sheep of the family, the bad seed. Nevertheless, I kept track of you over the years. I’ve followed your career in the police department. I’m guessing you became a cop, at least in part, because of what I’ve done.”

    Ox nodded. “That was part of it.”

    Lenny turned to Judy. “I was so happy when I heard about your budding relationship with this lovely lady. I even had a friend at your wedding. He sent me pictures. Married to an army veteran and a cop. That’s just what you need to keep you walking the straight and narrow.”

    Ox was amazed at how much his brother knew about his life.

    “Now that you’re out,” Judy asked, “what are your plans?”

    “I’m glad you asked,” Lenny replied. “My plan is to continue God’s plan. He called me to the ministry, and that’s the path I will take. There are many people out there who are as lost as I was. I will bring them the word of the Lord and lead them to redemption.”

    “That’s a tall order,” Judy replied, skeptically. “How are you planning to reach these lost souls?”

    “I’ve been saving for fifteen years. I used the money to rent a store front where I will open my house of worship. I call it The Heaven’s Door. That’s one reason why I came to see you today. I will be holding my first revival meeting Sunday. I would be honored if the two of you would come.”

    Ox and Judy just sat there, stunned. Ox was the first to speak. “Uhhhh --- sure. I guess so.”

    Lenny clapped his hands. “Wonderful! Heaven’s Door is on 12th Street just west of Prospect.”

    He rose from his chair. “Well, I must be going. Much to do. Will you pray with me?”

    Ox looked at Judy and she shrugged. “Okay,” Ox replied.

    Lenny knelt in front of them and took their hands. “Dear Lord, thank you for leading me from the valley of death and into the light. Thank you for my brother and his wife who have welcomed me into their home. Bless them and bless the mission you have set before me. Amen.”

    He rose, hugged each of them, and headed for the door. “Sunday evening. Six o’clock.”

    As the door closed, Ox turned to Judy. “What just happened?”