Abductive Columns

Monday, March 14, 2005

How to Witness Under the Pressure of Life and Death

I’m amazed that not even one blog among the many blogs I read has reported on the Ashley Smith story. Here’s a woman who made an extra-ordinary attempt that God used in a most dramatic way.

Taken at gunpoint in front of her Duluth apartment by courthouse killer, Brian Nichols, Ashley Smith is taken hostage for over seven hours in her own apartment. Yet in no more than two hours this twenty-six year old single mom transitioned from a fearful, trembling young lady to a composed, thoughtful woman calmly appealing to this killer on both an emotional and spiritual level. So much so, that in the end it transformed Brian Nichols, however short lived, to take a white towel and wave it in surrender. (Now back in prison reports describe him as “defiant” and “proud of his activities.”)

How could a man who had carjacked several cars and violently taken the lives of four people end up waving a white flag. What changed this man’s psyche and caused him to watch accounts of his day of terror on television with his captive and then ask, “what do you think I should do?”

Ashley cooked pancakes, read the Bible and Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Church with a man who had intrusively invaded and threatened her life. She calmly wept as she spoke of family and her five year old daughter. She talked about purpose in her life and purpose in his.

Facing the pressures of life and death, Ashley Smith became witness-extraordinaire.

She gave a man without hope—hope—if for only a moment in time.


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