Sometimes you read a news story and for some reason it feels like a punch in the gut. With so many tragic and terrible news items every day we have become desensitized to the pain and suffering of others. Read about a murder and you think to yourself, "I'm glad that didn't happen to me/my family." Read about a rape? "Gosh, I need to talk to my daughter about being more careful." Drug overdose, "I'm glad my children would never do anything like that." Then we order our "Fourbucks" coffee and drive on to work/the baseball game/dinner/the movies.
All of a sudden one story comes out of our blind spot and smacks us into a sober awareness. That happened to me today. A twelve year old baby sitter was run over by her employer as he was taking her home. Read about it here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,288702,00.html I read the story and can't figure out all the details but the police say after they both got out of the truck to investigate something related to the man's horses he got back in and whipped the truck around, striking the girl and killing her. Among other things the police have accused him of driving in an erratic manner. I upgraded my anger when I read the line about the man's actions, or inaction, in not taking the girl to the hospital until 5 am when the accident occurred about 11:30 PM the night before.
I guess this one got to me because I have a 12 year old daughter. As with so many crimes and even accidents this one just seems so senseless, so easily avoidable. I am trying to have compassion on the man who did this. How would Jesus treat him? What would the Master think? Every time I do think about it I see myself in that situation. What would I do? I am so very afraid I would meet recklessness with reckless retribution.
I am glad that God is not that way. I understand the heartfelt passion behind the cry of David, "Against thee and thee only have I sinned!" While I might want to strike out at someone who could do so foolish a thing, accident though it might be, I am at the same time thankful that God is not that way. Otherwise I, along with you, would have been "smited" long ago.
Pray for the family of that young girl. Hold your own children/grandchildren tight tonight or the next time you see them. Praise God for His rich mercy. Reach out to someone no one else seems to want to reach out to in love. Place your anger at the foot of the cross.