Just finished watching the movie Death Benefit on television. It’s based on a true story about this guy called Steven Keeney. Steven is a big corporate lawyer. He’s got a well-paid job in a good law firm. But somehow he gets involved in investigating a small murder case (and remember murder cases are not his deal!) – the murder of the daughter of a client. He gets so caught up in finding out the truth and seeing the murderer imprisoned that he slowly neglects his family and his wife. The partners in the law firm get upset with him for spending his time investigating a murder, rather than clocking up the hours to earn the company money. Investigating this case after all doesn’t earn him a cent.
But the amazing thing about this true story is that despite efforts by his wife and his partners in the law firm to persuade him to stop wasting his time investigating this case, he continues to do so. The repercussion is that he eventually leaves the law firm and starts his own private firm. Whether it was because he was kicked out or that he leaves voluntarily I’m not too sure. But the point is that he knew this was coming. He knew that in his pursuit for truth and in his desire for justice to be done, there would probably be sacrifices needed to be made. Him losing his job and perhaps his family relations being affected.
But he hung on and the murderer was convicted and sent to jail.
This true story reminds me of Henry David Thoreau’s famous phrase found in his book Walden:
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
Steven wanted the truth of what happened to be revealed. He wanted justice to be done. This despite the fact that it could cost him lots of money and perhaps love. Eventually through leaving the law firm, I’m sure he lost lots of money. I’m sure he didn’t earn a cent through the conviction of the murderer – but he did make sure his conscience was clear through doing everything possible to see justice being done. I don’t believe his wife left him or whatever, but through pursuing the case, he sure risked getting a divorce!
But here’s a man who was passionate for truth. God bless you Steven, wherever you are! May more people of such passion for truth and justice be raised up!