I watched a TV drama focused on harming children–a representation cause and effect, like dominos, as only happens on television. Or does it?
After trying for two long days and nights to stop her baby’s fussing, a young single mother accidentally smothers her child as she carries the crying baby back and forth, wrapped in a blanket. When the crying stops, she puts her in her crib and goes down to study for a big test she needs to pass to get her promotion. Instead she falls asleep. When she wakes, her baby is gone.
The chief detective, fresh from aborting her baby, searches for a missing 14-month-old. The distraught single mother is in shock, but mentions a man in the park who had made her nervous with his attention to her little girl. Turns out he was on the pedophile list, and although he and his psychiatrist said he didn’t do anything, he was accused.
The find the baby’s body, and a policeman (who had been abused as a child but had told no one) was so sure the man was guilty that he did some under-the-table things to convince the accused man’s girlfriend (who had daughters) that her boyfriend was guilty. The policeman physically abused the accused man in trying to make an arrest–the accused ran, was injured, got away, and ended up barricaded in his girlfriend’s house holding her and her daughters as hostage.
The young mother starts to remember things when she hears about the other mother and children in such danger. She tells the detective that she remembers what she had accidentally done and what she had blocked out–realizing the child was dead and hiding her body. After tears of anguish and sorry, her face changes and she claims, “All I wanted was quiet to study for my exam. I’ve done everything society expected of me: a career, a marriage, a baby. I’ve done it all right, and everything has gone against me. My marriage is over, my ex is fighting for custody, I can’t even study to get my promotion. I am the victim here.”
The former pedophile, who is working hard to turn his life around, says the same thing. “I am the victim here.” The policeman lost his job–victim to abuse long-ago committed. Two babies lost their lives–even though the killing of one was legal and assisted by a doctor.
And we, the audience, sat in judgment.
- Who was the bad guy?
- Who was the perpetrator?
- Who was justified in their actions and who wasn’t?
- Does legality make things right?
And God was never mentioned. Not even a glimmer.
Oh, Lord, we are a sinful people. We try to make our own laws, thinking we know better and can come up with a better list of laws than you did. Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on us all, sinners.
You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. [Luke 4:27]
The people in the show–representing all of us–were looking to find something to make their lives worth living. AND NO ONE FOUND IT. Why? Because we humans try to write you, the Creator of us all, out of the story. But you were there, unseen, waiting for someone to call out to you for help. Instead, we listen to Satan’s whispers that warp God’s words, and he laughs.
The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. [Genesis 3:1-6]
He fooled Eve, and he’s been fooling us ever since. And he’s still laughing when it works.
But that’s NOT how the story ends, in despair, destruction of lives, death, hell. There is a Good News story, but it doesn’t come through human efforts or Satan’s lies. It comes through God’s love and mercy. We don’e know how or when, but we do know that Satan is defeated, and that He redeems His people. And God again will look on all that He made and say, “It is good.”
Our God reigns.