Innocent in the Eyes of God

This is the story of Stacey Lynn Merkt, a soft-spoken and humble woman who went to prison for her work with Central American refugees. She responded to victimized, suffering people with love and compassion, and the most powerful government in the world--the U.S. government--targeted her and broke its own laws to try to keep her from causing that kind of trouble.

But it is not a sad or cynical story. Hundreds of thousands of Central American refugees are tortured and bombed out of their home countries only to be tracked down and imprisoned in this one. But Stacey believes that these same people who are so desperately poor in possessions and papers are the rich-in-spirit, native-born citizens of a far more powerful and permanent upside-down kingdom. And that makes this a hopeful story.

This story is a triumphant one, not because the refugees' long struggle against death and injustice will soon be won, but because these modern-day symbols of the crucified Christ are imparting to their North American brothers and sisters a new kind of life. And this story is heartening, not because Stacey, who was so unjustly sent to prison, was released to a less harsh, yet still unjust, house arrest, but because she took into and out of prison that greatest symbol of hope and life--a child in her womb--and because she did not allow all the injustice and pain of prison to make her a bitter or angry person.

This is the story of Stacey Merkt, a woman of God who has tried to live her life one step at a time, always open to the call of God and the needs of others. Her faithfulness in the little things has led her on a rewarding, if sometimes difficult, journey.

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