Friday, March 30th, 2018
I could hardly wait to meet with Shawn the next Monday and give him the good news. The two of us sat in a small room in the program area that served as the library of the Wright County Jail, surrounded on four sides by a few hundred books. He sat on one side of a short table and I on the other. We first talked about his confession in court the week before, where he pleaded guilty to 2nd Degree Murder and will be sentenced to 40 years in prison in May of this year. You’d think a person who’d just been sentenced to such a long stay would be despondent. Instead, with a calmness only possible by a dedicated follower of Jesus Christ, and a Holy Spirit smile on his face, he said, “I felt at peace when I left that courtroom. Sure, I’ll get a long sentence, but I know Jesus will be with me through it all, and for that I’m thankful. The fight is over. I now know where I’ll be, but I won’t be alone.”
I then asked him how well he knew Cheyenne Clough, the woman he murdered. His smile disappeared and his head went down as he looked at the top of the table between us. “She was my girlfriend at one time.”
“Did you know if she were a Christian or not?” I asked.
“I don’t know. I pray she was. It tears me apart that I may have sent her to hell when I shot her.”
I said in a voice that brought his head up from looking down, “Would you like to know for sure?” He didn’t know what to say. I told him about my meeting with Paul Miller the previous Thursday and his assurance that Cheyenne was saved. I told him Paul was in the hospital when the plug was pulled on her life support and had given the eulogy at her funeral. I followed that up with my phone call to Tyler the next day, in which he confirmed she was a believer.
Shawn had a look on his face that could best be explained as radiant. I could see how the news had affected him. I asked how he felt now. The smile was back as he said, “Awesome. Relieved. Amazed. This makes all the difference in the world. I didn’t send her to hell.” He proceeded to tell me that his prayers for Cheyenne had been answered. Indeed they had.