On a Wednesday evening, 14-year-old Emmett walked into a grocery store on a dare, bought some gum, and then asked the 21-year-old clerk behind the counter out on a date.
While there were many who viewed this act as immature - yet innocent - others viewed it as an act of defiance that needed to be punished.
The teenager, Emmett Till - a black - had just joked with a white woman. In Mississippi.
Three days later, the clerk's husband and a friend took the teenager from his relatives house, and decided to teach him a lesson. After driving him to a riverbank, they pistol-whipped Emmett and saw that he was still defiant. Angered, they told Emmett to take off all his clothes.
"You still as good as I am," asked one of the men.
"Yeah," Emmett replied.
A loud "pop" ripped threw the air and Emmett hit the ground.
Four days later, Emmett's body was found in the river by a couple of boys who were fishing. Around the teenager's neck was a cotton gin fan, tied with barbed wire.
That January - 6 months after the killing - LOOK Magazine published an article with the confession of the two men who had been acquitted of all murder charges just months prior.
No one ever served time for the murder.
Everything in my being wants to cry out at injustice. Acts of injustice demand justice.
Hebrews 10:30 says, "For we know Him who said, 'Vengence is Mine, I will repay.'...It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
These men did not go free. They will be delivered into the hands of the Almighty. And, it will be terrifying.
Lord, guard our hearts from feeling pride at the fact that someone will "get their due" - and cause our hearts to break for those who may meet your wrath head-on. May it cause us to be more winsome and burdened for the lost.