I’m overwhelmed with grief right now and unable to post the story I’ve been working on. My husband, Bob, and I received the devastating news that an old friend is now in prison for a horrible crime.
At first, we didn’t believe it. He had served as our church’s interim Youth Director in years past and was so good that I had encouraged him to go into full time church ministry. The kids loved him, and he was firm in his faith. One of his sons has been a dear friend of our son for years and we are saddened for him.
“Maybe the Baldwin County Sherriff’s Department made a mistake” we thought, but then I remembered a conversation with a friend in the FBI years ago who told me they double-dog check to make sure they are absolutely correct in cases like this, or else, it could ruin someone’s life.
Bob and I sat and prayed for him and his family, and later in the evening my stunned disbelief turned to anger. “How could he allow this to happen?” “Why didn’t he seek help?” I felt foolish for trusting him. And by this morning, I was just a sobbing mess.
This friend, and yes, I still consider him a friend, although we haven’t seen him much over the last year, is sitting in jail on suicide watch. Is he thinking we all hate him? Is he thinking we won’t forgive him? Well, I don’t know if I can ever forgive him. I’m a little too human to jump on the forgiveness bandwagon so quickly. But I don’t hate him. I’m too sick to my stomach to hate him. I want him to get better and go on to help other people.
If the charges are true, he deserves punishment and jail time. I’m a firm believer in that. But I want him to have life after punishment, whether I can ever look at him again or not. Bob pointed out that God can use him for good things while he serves time in prison. It’s all just too overwhelming to imagine right now.
To tell you the truth, I don't know if I'm feeling as upset for this individual, or for the world in general these days. I guess it's an even tie of sadness all around.
What is this world coming to? My son’s first reaction was on target; “Satan is hard at work destroying good people.”
I always feel better when I write, and the message I write now, is to "be on guard." While I sit and cry all day, I just want everyone to be on guard. Guard your hearts, people.