Forgot he was a wanted man

Quick link to a story from Associated Press via Yahoo about Frank Dryman, aka Frank Valentine, aka Victor Houston, who is 79 years old and will spend the rest of his life in prison.

This is a real man's life, so let's not make light of it: he's a criminal, and a lawbreaker, and he's going to spend his last years in prison for two crimes -- murder, and the violation of his parole.

But it seems to me this is a parable as well -- something written by God's providence that we must see through the eyes of faith. When Frank Valentine didn;t want to be a criminal anymore, he simply said he wasn't that man anymore -- and did his work to prove he was a different man.

But history and the Law say differently: he is who he is, guilty of his crime, and worse for pretending it never happened.

This is a parable about us, dear reader. It is a parable about me. I dare say it is a parable about you.


Doug McHone said...

Awesome story and the parable goes in many directions... except for the gospel. There is no substitute in the penitentiary.

Rachael Starke said...

This story reminds me of the drama surrounding Roman Polanski with his "it was so long ago, and the girl said she wants to put the whole thing behind her blah blah blah".

In our so-called justice system, crimes are not just committed against a person; they're committed against society at large.

Interesting that we acknowledge this in civil life, but ignore it in our spiritual one...

David said...

I've been gnawing on this all day, Frank, because it hit home.

Owning our sin is the only way of disowning our sin. There is a lot that I've put off in my life as "it's all under the blood" that has left people strewn behind me like the guy he shot three times. And God is not mocked, either.

Thanks for reading the news literately like you read the Bible.

Strong Tower said...

Frank is a criminal?

For some of us the reason that we are not behind bars is the simple fact that we nevah got pinched, or we did and the evidence wouldn't support the charges, or for some other reason of providence, God thought it better that we remain outside and not in.

wordverification: adersin

now ain't that the snakes hiss?

Glad to hear you're one of us Frank.

There are many who haven't the sordid life to look back on and don't realize, clearly, the criminals that they are. They have yet to have that Isaiah six moment. They can be the hardest to convince of their depravity because they simply have not experienced the low life.

Then there are those who came from the lower levels of life who have forgoten that they "were one of them."

In both cases there are the Franks for whom compassion should be shown, prayers said, and the hope of the Gospel preached, but for whom only contempt is poured. When we get a glimpse of the Frank that we are, or see an old photo of the good ole days, or recall the days when, well, we should stop and say, "Except for the grace of God..."

I don't care to much for Moody's statement for the fact that we often think that way, that we are not still the person in the gutter. And that is why we more often than not pass them by rather than reach down and give them a hand up.

Anonymous said...

How many ignore their sin until they forget it altogether.

How often do I ignore my sin until I forget it altogether.

That God for the cross.

Jackie Pickett said...

The Lord had to show me the depths of my sin nature. It wasn't a pretty sight. Thank the Lord he enabled me to even see it. It lead me to the cure....the gospel.
Thank you for sharing this parable. May the Lord open this man's eyes to his sin, that he may seek a cure.

Brad Williams said...


I basically ripped you off on this today for our newsletter article. I had wanted to write an article about this guy, and lo and behold, you beat me to it. I simply cannot come up with a better title for it than you did.