Tom Sharman, a good friend and the owner of Tesco Studios where a lot of great music has been produced over the years -- and many years of Vital Signs radio programs too -- wrote an excellent piece and submitted it the Omaha World Herald's Public Pulse. They haven't printed it yet and so I asked Tom if I could. Here it is:
"Last Thursday the Omaha World Herald ran three articles spanning the first several pages, all of which dealt with life and death - Nebraska's signature collection concerning the death penalty, the funeral of Ty and Terri Schenzel, and the sentencing of James Holmes. In the case of Ty and Terri we saw the outpouring of love, sorrow, gratitude and praise for lives well lived in service for others. By contrast James received a resounding rebuke from the Colorado judge and then jeers and railing from some in the courtroom audience.
The appreciation for the former and condemnation both from the judge and jury of the latter were earned and rightfully given. But if we had the opportunity to ask the Schenzels if they were inherently better or more valuable people than Mr. Holmes, what would their response would be? Although our natural thinking would be 'of course, the Schenezels are without doubt the worthy ones', I don't believe that would be their answer.
The reason is that Ty and Terri knew where the true basis of worth comes from - not from what we do (as wonderful or awful as that may be) or by any other standard we exalt, but rather from seeing ourselves and others just as God sees us - each a person created in His image. This perspective does not all minimize the countless persons touched by the Hope Center or by the actions of James and those involved with the death penalty outcome. And yes, we can easily see that this image is more outwardly tarnished in some cases than in others, but none of us will ever represent it as designed. No, if Ty and Terri would have met James face to face, they would have valued and treated him like everyone else would attest who knew them."