Pastor Locks Eyes With the Man Who Murdered His Pregnant Wife, Delivers Gut-Wrenching Message of Grace

After his wife and unborn baby were brutally murdered in 2015, Davey Blackburn has been on a journey of forgiveness and healing.

His wife, Amanda Blackburn, was murdered on Nov. 10, 2015, in an attempted burglary of the family’s home. Davey returned home from the gym to find his wife lifeless on the floor with a gunshot wound to the head, while the couple’s 15-month-old son, Weston, remained unscathed in his crib upstairs.

In a Nov. 8 blog post, Davey reveals that Jalen Watson, one of the three men who allegedly murdered Amanda two years ago, has entered a plea agreement.

The Pastor of Resonate Church in Indianapolis, Davey says he’s in full support of the plea agreement, as the prosecution has kept him well-informed about what is the “right thing” for this case.

“While I want the full extent of justice for Amanda’s murder levied, I also want each of these men to experience radical heart changes, turn from their previous ways and begin following Jesus. The justice system may be able to help with behavior modification, but only Jesus can truly change a heart. I believe the Lord has been working on Jalen’s heart significantly over the last two years since Amanda’s death.”

Davey offers some insight to the plea bargain, in which he commends Jalen for his sacrifice: “Many alleged would rather receive a drastically harsher sentencing and stay silent about information that could aid a case rather than testifying against their associates.”

The alleged murderer entering a plea agreement opens doors for the prosecution to ensure there is justice for Amanda.

“Regardless of his motives in doing so, I’m grateful,” Davey writes.

Davey says there’s one particular phrase that has helped change his perspective throughout this process: “God gives dying grace to dying men.”

“What this is saying is that in the biggest moment of any of our lives—death—God will give us the grace sufficient enough to step into that moment. I think scripture backs up this phrase partly in verses like 1 Corinthians 15:55—‘Where oh death is your victory, where oh death is your sting?’ I heard Matt Chandler say one time that he believes that a Believer doesn’t even taste death, that at the last moment when death is about to close around you, God comes in and swoops you up in his grace. I’ve heard stories of people who were laying in a hospital bed in their dying moments and begin muttering things as if they were looking at Jesus face-to-face in that very moment. In Acts 7 you see Stephen getting martyred and yet before his moment of death he looked to heaven, paying no attention to the stones being hurled at him and said that he saw Jesus!”.

Knowing this, and seeing it play out in scripture gives Davey “amazing hope” for the final moments of Amanda’s life.
“If God gives dying grace to dying men, He most certainly gives anxiety grace to anxious men, and depression grace to depressed men, and worrying grace to worried men, and forgiving grace to victimized men, and courtroom grace to men who see their perpetrators face-to-face for the first time… My approach has been this: Look to Jesus and he’ll prepare me for what I need to be prepared for. His grace is sufficient for me.”

It’s this truth Davey says that got him through seeing one of the perpetrators face-to-face for the first time on Friday, October 27th.

He was admittedly nervous about seeing Jalen. Davey recounted the moment the two locked eyes.

“I thought he’d look away quickly, or look down in shame, or something. But he didn’t. He lingered, his gaze locked with mine. I didn’t know what to do. Courtroom ethics prohibit making any kind of gesture whether cordial or offensive. I didn’t know if I should nod or look away or keep staring. As the room began to close in around me I just sat there and stared. I don’t even know what kind of expression I had on my face. I just felt empty, and anxious all at the same time. But, I couldn’t take my eyes off of his. There was something telling in them, something different than I expected. They seemed tired, hurt, broken and maybe…grieved.”

The hearing was difficult, and Davey says he’s glad it only lasted 30 minutes. Still, he’s grateful that God is using this trial in baby steps as he continues to heal.

“God knows exactly what he’s doing and how to prepare us for the next big moment. He gives dying grace to dying men.”

Davey’s forgiveness and grace toward Jalen is something only God can get the credit for. It’s unfathomable under such circumstances how a grieving husband and father could find the tenderness in his heart to see the good in a man who caused so much pain for him. And that’s the beauty of God at work.

Join us in continuing to pray for Davey and his son, Weston, as they face a long journey of difficult trials, harsh facts and seeking dying grace for dying men.

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