Thursday, May 21, 2009

a broken world

I like to try to read the newspaper on a regular basis. You know, stay informed, know what's going on in my community etc. Lately however, the news has become so horrific it makes it hard for me to read it. This week here are some of the most wrenching headlines:

"Beach man not guilty in son's decapitation by reason of insanity"


"Couple whose baby starved to death could get 42 years"

The first story features a man who decapitated his son because he believed his wife was the anti-christ and killing his son was the only way he would be safe.

The second story is about a couple who lived in a house with no heat, no running water, no food, etc. Their 11 month old baby starved to death, but they were up to date on the payments on their new tv with cable.

It's hard to know how to respond to this kind of news.  When I read things like this I have a visceral reaction.  Anger wells up inside of me.  Righteous anger?  I'm not sure.  I'm angry at the man who decapitated his own son.  In my mind I picture the fear and terror in the little boy's face.  A mother trying desperately to save her son.  The injustice of it all.  The fact that this man is rendered "not guilty by reason of insanity" infuriates me.  My blood boils as a parent.  "How could someone do this" keeps ringing through my mind. 

I'm angry at the parents who sat and watched their child die as they watched cable tv.  The picture of a baby suffering like that literally brings me to tears.  I can't help but think of my baby.  My anger rises.   

Then I think about the way our society tends to view these atrocities.  We condemn those who murder a life we can see.  Yet, we sit by and condone the murder of thousands of unborn children every day.  Lives just as precious, just as full of promise.  We take the lives of innocent children every day in this country and while so many vehemently protect the "right" to do this, they reject the legitimacy of capital punishment.  Ending the life of those who have performed the most heinous acts against mankind they say is "barbaric" and "uncivilized".  Really?  But it is not barbaric and uncivilized to end the life of an unborn child?  Would it bother them more if abortionists used guns?  Either way the result is the same.  Death.  In one case it is death of the innocent, in the other case it is death of the guilty.  I choose to protect the innocent.  

Then I'm faced with the Christian reality that Jesus loves these people.  Jesus loves the man who decapitated his child and the parents who sat and watched their child die while they did nothing.  Jesus would forgive them in an instant if they asked.  He would show them grace and welcome them with open arms.  So what is the proper response?  Where is the line between a righteous anger over the sin in the world while maintaining the truth that God loves these people?  How do you balance the overwhelming emotions of anger, sadness and even rage over these events?  I don't know the answers.  I just know that Jesus loves me just as much as he loves them and that one day, none of this will happen anymore.  All the sin and brokenness in this world will be gone and Jesus will be the ruler.  Lord, let it be on earth as it as it heaven, sustain us until the day of Your glorious return.  


esther lee said...

Last fall, I had to stop reading the paper and listening to NPR because it was causing my anxiety levels to soar. I really struggled with it because I did not want to be ignorant about what was/is going on around me in my community and in the world at large but I really felt like God laid the revelation of the connection of my anxiety and the news on my heart in order to protect me. Namely from my decision to focus on my worries and fears instead of on Him.

christa said...

It IS hard to read the news sometimes! I also go through periods of withdrawal form 'it all'. BUT - mos of the time - seeing this brokenness/hate in our world makes me more motivated to make my individual/family contribution, even if I can only 'help' in my local community - its something. When I make it personal, it doesn't seem so insurmountable. Imagine if every one did!

Good post, Mallory!

Anonymous said...

I've been where you are. Now, I don't watch TV (we do watch the occasional DVD though...usually for me it's something along the lines of the Love Comes Softly series), listen to mainstream music, or listen to the news. This is why:

"Guard your heart for it determines the course of your life." ~Prov 4:23

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things." Phil 4:8