It’s Monday morning and I just read the Sunday paper. It’s not something I typically do. We get the paper for the coupons and I like to do the crossword puzzles. Keeps the mind active. As I was looking for the section that always has the puzzles, a headline caught my eye, so I read it, which led me to the second one.
The first, titled Life Becomes Tabloid Nightmare for Family was about a high school senior who gave birth two days after her prom and proceeded to bury the newborn in her backyard, spring of 2017. There are speculations and the investigation is still going on. Some say the baby was alive. Some say it was stillborn. Some say she buried the infant to protect her reputation. The parents deny knowing she was pregnant. Reports say the body was dismembered. The whole thing is disturbing.
What kind of person does this?
The second article was 4:28 of Terror and Heroism, which gave a play-by-play account of a shooting that happened in downtown Cincinnati just last week. It was just a regular workday until a random guy decides to walk into a lobby and start shooting. One woman was hit as she was walking into work, already on a conference call, clueless to what was going on. The shooter kept firing at her. She was shot twelve times in all. She survived but three others did not.
What kind of person does that?
God help us.
I went about the rest of the day with these stories laying heavy on my heart and images that cannot be unseen in my mind. Both stories are vexing. Why didn’t I stick with coupons and crosswords?
How have we come to care so little about the sanctity and sacredness of human life, no matter the age, race or gender? How have we come to a place where our reputations become more important than the life we carry inside us? How can we be so angry and harbor such hate that we can walk into a lobby (or gay bar or anywhere for that matter) and gun people down? How do you look into the face of another person and shoot them twelve times total?
The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. (Jeremiah 17:9 MSG)
I know there are complex answers to the why. There’s all manner of details we won’t (and may never) know. Background, history, evidence, truth. I don’t begin to understand it all or know the right answer. People will argue every angle. Then argue some more.
Politicians and lawmakers will carpe diem(!)and make you believe they are fighting for you. But if we think they, who ooze corruption, hold the answers, we are sorely mistaken. I’m on your side, said the spider to the fly.
I’m not here to argue gun control and freedom of rights. I’m not here to have a row about Roe v. Wade. Though I think we should be able to have commonsense conversations about these things….
What if what we have here is an issue of the heart?
A lobbyist could not change the dark heart of the man in the lobby that day. Only God could. A lawmaker cannot change the heart of a deceived young woman who hid, had then buried her newborn. Only God can.
What about you and me? We, too, have hearts that are easily deceived, capable of all manner of things. Oh, we may not shoot someone in the literal sense but we shoot people down if their opinions differ from us. We use words as weapons and the argument about who’s right keeps the pot stirred and anger brewing.
And Satan has an absolute cackle over it.
What if I asked the Lord to help me care more about sharing the good news of the gospel then to lobby for my leanings? What if you did too?
What if I asked the Lord to spotlight any darkness in my own heart? What if you did too?
What if I asked the Lord to see others as He sees them? What if you did too?
What if I asked the Lord to create in me a clean heart and steadfast Spirit (Psalm 51:10)? What if you did too?
God help us, he will. As only God can.
Shout out to the law enforcement officers who were there in Cincinnati. You’re bravery and quick action saved many people that day.