This weekend my happy place, Facebook, was taken over by heartbreak. The little boy left by his dad in a hot car (yes I am tired of this story too) had new details come out every 5 minutes. Then there is a local college student who was hit by a drunk driver last year. Her family is facing the suspect in court this week. Wow. I have been following her progress this year and seen the love and devotion her parents have for her. I can’t imagine the emotions they are feeling.
People on Facebook, and in general, seem to have that mob mentality down. Trial by the media is how things are done these days. In both of these situations, wrong was done. No one can doubt that. I saw in regard to the drunk driver that someone wanted justice served and hoped the boy would get the maximum sentence. That thought kept rolling around in my head. I agree with justice served, but the maximum sentence part gets me. What do I want to come out of these situations? Maximum impact. I want people to see the results of drinking and driving, through Emily’s life. I want people to make sure their baby isn’t left in the car. I want people to seek help if they are mentally unstable, not do something drastic. More than anything, I hope the lives of these men, their families, and the victims’ families have maximum impact. I hope we see radical change, radical forgiveness, and radical hearts for God.
God certainly doesn’t want these men to rot in jail and then rot in hell. He doesn’t want the families to live with bitterness and anger for the rest of their lives. He wants the impact of stories like these to ripple out and touch many lives. He wants mercy and grace to be lived out. God knows it is one thing for us to read about grace in the Bible, but it becomes real when we see people pouring it out now. The human reaction is to think we can never forgive. We can think of excuses all day to justify our hatred, but nothing can make it right. Or we ask how someone could this. WE would certainly never do something so horrible. We live so long with the plank in our own eye that it obscures our vision.
Micah 6:8 sums up our responsibility perfectly. “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Justice, mercy, and humility: what a difficult combination for us to grasp. They seem so different from each other, especially justice and mercy. Then there is the walk humbly part. We aren’t better than anyone else. We may not be guilty of their sins, but we sure have plenty of our own. God loves people with “big” sins just as much as He loves us. He longs to be with them in eternity too. The sooner we realize this, the easier it will be for us to exhibit justice and mercy and to fully hold Jesus’ hand in humility.
Linking up with the magnificent Holley Gerth today!