Picking Cotton

Chris —  March 9, 2009

Picking Cotton is a new book, and it refers to a man named Ronald Cotton, not the crop.  I’ve already ordered the book.

Chapter 1 of my book Unpacking Forgiveness begins with the story of Jennifer Thompson.  The quick summary is that Jennifer Thompson “picked Cotton” – – that is she identified Ronald Cotton as the man who raped her, when in fact he didn’t really commit the crime.

I began my book with this story because it was one of the most amazing stories of forgiveness that I read (and I’ve read a bunch of them) and, because it illustrates so much biblical truth about forgiveness.  Not only did Jennifer Thompson have to unpack the baggage of being raped – – but she had to live with sending the wrong man to prison for over a decade.

How do you unpack forgiveness with a man that you wrongly sent to prison for some of the best years of his life?

There was an excellent special about Jennifer Thompson and Ronald Cotton on 60 Minutes tonight.  I would highly recommend watching it.  The two of them also co-authored a book Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption.   It was recently released and I’ve not yet read it.  But, I am looking forward to it.

Watch CBS Videos Online

Here is Part II of the Sixty Minutes special on Jennifer Thompson and Ronald Cotton.

Watch CBS Videos Online

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7 responses to Picking Cotton

  1. I’d like to spend a couple of hours with both of them.

  2. Wow! I was impressed with their story when I read it in Unpacking Forgiveness. Watching them tell it just made it that much more special. Thank you so much for posting this, Chris. I can’t wait to share it with our small group. We are on Chapters 9 and 10 in our discussions.

  3. Talk about God getting the final word. I noticed that the feature largely focused on her. I couldn’t help but wonder about him. Hopefully the book provides some more color into his experience. Thank you for posting…we would have entirely missed it.

  4. This is very powerful. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. Steve and Sandy March 10, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    I love how we see how forgiveness can wipe away the pain even though the the memory of the event is still there. Example of this is when she is asked whose face does she see when she looks back and Jennifer says none.

  6. As our family continues to deal with the aftermath of the rape of our youngest child (family ‘friend’), stories like this give us hope that there really is a way out of the hellish emotional and psychological pain. We refuse to be trapped by hatred and revenge, but we walk a path filled with landmines of despair and fear every day. God is faithful, though, and we remind ourselves that “Christ was all anguish that we might be all joy”.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Challies Review: Picking Cotton at A Brick in the Valley - March 18, 2009

    […] previously posted on the remarkable story of Jennifer Thompson and Ronald Cotton (see here for a summary of the story and a link to the 60 Minutes special).  « Cindy Winters […]