January 22, 2010

Life. Death. Sorrow. Pain. Anguish. Joy. Thankfulness. Grace.

Today is the March for Life in Washington DC. A day when people from around the country band together to remind our government that a nation that does not value life is not worthy of existence. That life must be our first priority.

That it is our value of the sanctity of life that makes us human, that makes us moral, that makes us in any way good.


Today comes after yesterday.

Yesterday I became one of those people....

...one of those people who on the news says, "...but he always seemed like such a nice guy."

Yesterday I found out that someone I've known since the 2nd grade, someone I grew up in church with, someone who always seemed basically decent...

killed his daughter.

There's some debate about whether or not he was in his right mind at the time

Does it matter? Should it? I don't know.

I know what I've always said and thought and felt about others who have done the same thing.

And now all I can feel is ache.

For his family.

For his friends.

For the people who, today, still say he changed their lives for the better one way or another.

But even after that....there's a little girl who only lived a few months.

It's finally starting to sink in. And the weight that was crushing my chest is lifting.

I mourn that little girl so much.

But I mourn for the family, too, because their lives are forever changed.

The loss of their granddaughter.

And, if justice is served, the eventual loss of their son, one way or the other.

Because, though it hurts me, justice must be served, or else we show no respect for the victim. For the life that was taken.

And it's made me ponder. Not question. But ponder.

I've been reading and studying the formation of the nation of Israel, when God established both the state and the church in the persons of Moses and Aaron, respectively.

The Law was given to and through Moses for the people. Restitution for breaking the Law was made through Aaron.

They didn't have the choice to show leniency when someone broke the law, just because of how they felt about the person who broke it. Punishment must follow.

Only God can forgive sins.

Not the government.

Not even us.

Oh sure, we can forgive someone, and are supposed to whenever we are wronged, that's clear. But that's not for their benefit. It's to ensure that we don't allow bitterness to interrupt our relationship with God and with others.

We are to forgive. Every single time. But it doesn't absolve that person of their sin debt to God.

That's what the Law was supposed to show us. That's what our laws today are to remind us of.

There is still a Lawgiver. And He would not be righteous, would not be holy
- would not be God -
if He was not also completely just.

I was reading and hurting, Oh God, where is the mercy in all of this? Where is the grace? We all sin. We all screw up. We've all lied. We've all lusted. We've all hated and murdered in our hearts. What hope is there for man if the Law must be fulfilled - and it must.

Jesus

Yes, the law must be fulfilled. Even for my friend. My heart twists, my stomach burns at the thought.

But life, the sanctity of life, what we are supposed to be honoring today,
is the most important thing.

We value life because God values life and instilled that in our nature as it is in His nature. (Rom. 2:14-16).

And because He values life and mercy and grace as well as justice, He provided us with a replacement, with someone to take the punishment for our sin so that we don't have to.

Jesus

The punishment for sin is death. But God's gift is LIFE - eternal life - through Jesus, the Savior, our Lord.

It would be unfair, unjust and unreasonable to not punish sin. It shows injustice and irreverence to the victim to allow a perpetrator to go free without the punishment for their sin being fulfilled.

In the same way, it would be unfair, unjust and unreasonable to think that we are being wronged when we receive fair punishment for our actions.

Jesus came to pay that price for us so that we would not have to. So that we would be forgiven, not just of the little things or things in the past or things other people noticed.

But for everything.

Forever.

My heart hurts so much over this situation. My prayer is that this man, my friend, finds forgiveness in God.

Because even though I've never killed anyone, I'd be lying to say I've never wished death on someone. (Matt. 5.)

I also pray that justice will be served, and that the law will be satisfied. Anything less is disrespectful to the innocent life taken last week.

But I am also rejoicing and thanking God that, in the midst of this disgusting tragedy, His love and His mercy, His justice and His holiness, His grace and His forgiveness
- the very essence of who He is -
can be shown again to a world who so desperately needs to be told about it.

We're all sinners, we just don't all realize it yet. Or remember it every day, which is what the Law is supposed to do. Remind us of how much we need God. Every day.

And He is there. Every day. Even in tragedy. Even in sorrow. Especially when the world doesn't make sense anymore.
He is there.

Has He called you yet? Are you listening?

5 comments:

  1. My heart breaks for this family and I don't even know them... wow...

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  2. praying with you for this family.

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  3. Such a good post bud. Really great message in the midst of such a horrible act. I can't even imagine how his family feels, or even you feel, just knowing them. Keep us updated on them if you can!

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  4. Wow. I don't even know what to say... I'm so sorry. And I agree with Jessica that there is a really great message in there.

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  5. That is a great post....I am sorry for the reason for it though. So very sorry. Many prayers for the family...your friend ...and you.

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