Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Friday, December 14th

President Roosevelt made a speech about the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He said it was a day “… that would live in infamy.” The day he was referring to was December 7th, 1941. That day was infamous because Japan attacked our naval base and over 2000 lives were lost….

Friday, December 14th, started like most other days. I was up by 7 am deciding what the most important tasks of the day were. I really wanted bacon for breakfast but we didn’t have any in the refrigerator. I was a little annoyed, after breakfast, that my youngest daughter didn’t get a perfect score on her spelling test after we (and I mean “we”) had worked so hard on it. I was a little frustrated with one of my sons. We are trying to get him enrolled in college. Even though he says he wants to go, he doesn’t seem to have the drive to get through the admission process…and I don’t know how to give it to him.

My wife and I took a drive to pick something up from the store. I didn’t really want to go. I wanted to go to my office and work on my book. I just can’t seem to make progress on it. Someone or something is always occupying my time. On the way home, we could hear grinding in the front wheel of our vehicle.

“Oh Great,” I thought to myself. “There goes $200.00 bucks I don’t have.”

When I finally got back to the office, my son Jon (some of you folks may know him as the guitar player in our band) asked if I had heard the news. I had not. So, I turned on the news in my office and listened…and I cried. After an hour of being paralyzed by disbelief and hearing another news briefing held by the Connecticut State Police, I went home to find that my daughters had heard the news and what had happened in Newtown, Connecticut.  After a little talking, my girls put their heads on my shoulders…and cried. They cried for the children that were terrorized and killed. They cried for the moms and dads and the pain that they were experiencing. They cried.

As my girls were there weeping, I realized something. In the overarching scheme of things, my daughters 96% on her test was pretty good. I realized that I was having a good day without bacon. I realized that my son is working hard to be the best at his new job and that at 19 he is trying to learn how to juggle a schedule. I realized how much I love him and what a great kid he is.

I realized how much I love my wife and my calling. I love what I do and the people I get to be with. I realized how blessed I am.  Finally, I realized that in the overarching scheme of things eventually my vehicle will get fixed.

I also realized some “deeper” issues. I realized that I don’t have the answers for the parents that are hurting. I realized how insidiously evil this act was. I realized how lost the perpetrator was. And for what I know about God, I realized that He allowed it to happen.

There is another time in history that God allowed a massacre of children. In fact, God allowed prophets to predict it. It’s actually part of the Christmas story. You know about the wise men that came to pay homage to the “new born king of the Jews”? After they left to go home, Herod, the King of Judea, had all the Jewish boys, age 2 and under, executed. Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus escaped the carnage. The others living in Herod’s kingdom did not.

There is no way for us today to understand the sorrow of the Jewish people during this time. In fact, the Bible says, “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” (Matt. 2:18 NIV) There is no way for us, who are not involved, to understand the grief that the parents of Newtown, Connecticut are experiencing. All we can do is weep with them.

So, why did God allow this? I have no idea. What kind of God would allow this to happen? To the children: A righteous God that honors the innocence of children. To the parents: A merciful God that has experienced, for Himself, the execution of His son. To the perpetrator: A just God that said, “Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.” (Rev. 20:12)

During these days that follow, many are offering solutions that will not address the problem. Some will say the problem is a cold piece of steel that spews projectiles. An inanimate object never hurt anyone by itself. Some will say the problem is mental instability. The mentally unstable that I know have a difficult forming sentences… and drool. Some will say the problem is Democrats and Liberalism and some will say it is Republicans and Conservatism.

None of these things are the problem. They are all symptoms of the problem. The problem is evil and sin. This means, the only answer to our problem is God and His righteousness. If we, as a nation, cannot see this, then we are doomed to a dark abyss. Can we ever climb out? I don’t know.

What I do know is that FDR said December 7th, 1941 would be a day that would live in infamy. If that is so, then December 14th, 2012 shall forever be shrouded in sorrow. The only thing I know that will get us through… is faith in God Almighty.