Change of Heart (Hardcover)
Justice, Mercy, and Making Peace with My Sister's Killer
Westminster John Knox Press, 9780664259976, 208pp.
Publication Date: March 4, 2015
This powerful, true story of faith and forgiveness shows that all of us are capable of experiencing the healing and renewal that comes with truly forgiving another. Change of Heart follows the transformative journey undertaken by Jeanne Bishop after the murders of her sister and brother-in-law, a journey that challenged Jeanne's belief in the message of Jesus on the cross and eventually moved her beyond simple forgiveness to the deeper waters of redemption and grace. Jeanne's authentic story will guide readers past the temptation of anger and revenge, and help them navigate the path of truly forgiving someone whose actions have hardened their heart.
From once wishing that her sister's killer languished in a cell for the rest of his life, Jeanne now visits him regularly in prison and publicly advocates for his release. "It's not okay what you did, but I am not going to hate you. I am not going to wish evil on you," writes Bishop of the murderer. "I am going to wish the opposite. I am going to wish that you will be redeemed."
"The criminal justice system in the United States, which deems some people unworthy of redemption--even children who commit serious crimes--urgently needs to hear voices that speak for mercy and restoration. Jeanne Bishop's is such a voice" writes Sr. Helen Prejean, activist and author of Dead Man Walking. Change of Heart confronts these serious and pressing issues of restorative justice, juvenile life sentences, and incarceration in the criminal justice system. Ultimately, Jeanne is writing more than a memoir of finding faith through extraordinary obstacles. Her compelling story offers a better understanding of what it truly means to be a person of faith. It is a call to action that is a "must-read for pastors, social workers, caregivers, and all who seek to build community with people relegated to the margins" (Greg Ellison, Emory University).