Over the past couple of days, there has been a firestorm brewing over the news of a lawsuit filed against James Fortune by his step-son’s father, Roderick Davenport. According to several news media sources, Mr. Davenport recently filed a $5 million dollar lawsuit against James Fortune and his wife, Cheryl Fortune (i.e., the mother of the child).
By now everyone is aware of that the lawsuit is related to an incident that occurred in 2001 wherein allegedly the minor child (then just 4 years of age) was burned over almost one-half of his body after Mr. Fortune punished him (i.e., whipped him for coloring on a table at school) and placed the child in a tub of scalding hot water as well.
You need only check the major social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to catch a glimpse of the outrage of many folks (fans and non-fans alike). In fact, since I started this writing it seems that James Fortune’s FanPage has been removed. Some folks are calling for Mr. Fortune to “burn in hell” and other’s take the position of defending the gospel artist calling for people not judge — lest ye be judged. Unfortunately, Mr. Fortune is now being tried in the” court of public opinion” — the one where everybody’s personal opinion is “the one truth.”
Perhaps we should consider the fact that no man can walk in another man’s shoes– which means that no one knows the suffering of the child, the guilt ridden thoughts of James Fortune, Cheryl Fortune or the child’s father. One of the challenges Mr. Fortune faces is the fact that the public statement he released contained no words of remorse. It almost mirrors the 911 tape wherein Mr. Fortune puts the blame for the incident on the child “My son just burned himself in the bathtub… messing around in the bath, turned the water on hot and burned his feet and his hand.”
One question to be considered by the “court of public opinion” is whether the child has forgiven his step-father. Forgiveness is a part of the healing process. The other question to be considered is whether Mr. Fortune has made his plea for forgiveness from the child and his God.
The bottom line is that “But for the grace of God there Go I.” I once read that good and bad things will happen to us in life and the only thing that matters is what part of you will show up when it happens. Our prayers go out to everyone involved in the situation.