Thursday, June 12, 2008

In the Aftermath of Tragedy

Undoubtedly like most others, I have been heartsick this week over the tragic news of the vicious murders of the two young girls in Oklahoma. The story has to be one of the most troubling and saddening and infuriating stories to be reported in the past several years. Two young girls, walking down a road, probably laughing and simply enjoying one another's company, gunned down by some sick, perverted, evil killer. The story has hit me especially hard since I am the father of three precious little girls.

We live in a fallen world. This is certainly plain to see when we witness and hear of these great tragedies, these acts of unspeakable evil. My initial response is to want to reach out to these grieving families and offer what love and support I can give. My next response, and one that closely follows the first, is to want to rush out and find the evil perpetrator(s) and . . . well . . . have you heard the old Charlie Daniels song? I don't remember the title, but it speaks of the rage toward those who could do such evil, violent acts and the vengeance that many of us would like to enact.

My third reaction is to fall on my knees, and pray. To pray to God asking for his hands of healing to be placed upon the grieving, but also on our land. For Him to change the hearts of those who curse him and others and who have little or no regard for life. For Him to take away these great tragedies and keep us safe. But, then I realize that this world is what we (humanity) have made of it. It is not the world God intended; that image was marred in the Fall, when the man and his wife disregarded God's word and sought their own way. And, I am challenged with the thought that for the world to change requires my willingness and your willingness to be ambassadors for Christ in this fallen, broken world, this land estranged from God . . . to be Christ in this world . . . and, in so doing, to affect, little by little, change, to transform the world about us.

This great tragedy should challenge all men and women of faith to be more proactive in affecting the world about us, to reach out to the hurting, to speak to the lost, to do what we can to affect the hearts of evil men.

I am mindful of the story of an old man trying to rescue a scorpion from a twig floating in a stream. The man was a man of faith, a caring and generous man, a Godly man. He reached down to lift the scorpion to dry ground, but the scorpion stung the man, and so the man let go, leaving the scorpion on the twig. Again, the man reached down, only to be stung again. And, again. And, again. And, again.

A passerby witnessed what was happening, and asked said, "Fool! Don't you know that scorpion will continue to sting you? Why waste your efforts on one who only seeks to harm you? It is in his nature to sting."

The old man responded, "And as a redeemed child of God, it is in my nature to save. Why should I change my nature, or worse yet, deny it . . . even in the face of such harm and rejection?" And, the man continued his efforts to save the scorpion.