Friday, June 29, 2012

There but for the Grace of God, Part II

The topic is child molestation not Jerry Sandusky, but as the latest public version of the problem,  he allows us a human face.

Simply put, as abhorrent as his behavior was, there is no room to cast stones at him. It is a human story of failure to recognize sin or to recognize it but fail a walk in the available grace of God. Perhaps knowing the meaning of grace is part of the problem. I contend Jerry Sandusky --no matter what he believed about God, professed about God, nor practiced in his religion -- did not understand the grace of God.

That is the end of the matter, however. Rewind to the beginning.

How did he manage to become ensnared by such vile desire? I'm guessing, but I am confident in the guess, to assert his sexual exploration began as a child with other boys, perhaps even pre-pubescent. In his teens while he acted oriented toward girls of appropriate age, he maintained some level of secret behavior involving boys. Some part of his soul driven by his fallen, flesh nature never matured beyond this. He developed heterosexually or pretended to do so, but a secret willingness to participate in homosexual behavior remained. The desire remained along with the knowledge some boys could be so coerced. With his advancing age, developing position and disposable income, he learned techniques of manipulation. This likely behavior pre-dated the start of the charity, and it is plausible he started the charity without plotting a way to groom a never-ending list of boys of the age he targeted. He may have even prayed, "God help me not use the charity this way." Such is the folly of self-denial.

I think something in him believed in doing acts of charity. This idea on my part is tied to my life experience of knowing we humans, Christian and not, are a mixed bag of good and evil decisions. How many church going folks will lie on their tax forms? How many folks would never steal anything but have very immoral sexual fantasies? How many pastors, policemen, judges, doctors, firemen, teachers, etc., went into their chosen vocation to answer some inner-drive to help fellow humans, and yet harbor feelings, desires, thoughts or out-right actions of wrong behaviors? Jerry Sandusky is not alone. He got caught because he abandoned himself to a lifestyle of self-indulgence in his prurient interest, which produced enough witnesses to incontrovertibly testify he did the acts.

Is the one who acts out a prurient desire worse than the dreamer of such? Perhaps so in most US citizen's eyes, but not when judged by the holiness of God our Father. Our actions may or may not be judged by the law. The heart is judged by God.

Next path in the Wild Wood will examine the nature of the grace of God, and Sandusky et al professing grace while living outside the same.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

There but for the Grace of God...

The news is vile on most any occasion...or at least too many facets of it. Gruesome murders, scandals amid politicians and others of lesser note, child abuse, drug conglomerates leaving their piles of human debris. Sandusky couldn't be missed, eh?

The child predator appears one of the worst, no doubt. However, the unease of a man establishing a charity reaching for and lifting up under-privileged youth, who then picked his victims from the clients of the charity is peculiarly nauseating. That mask of overt goodness as a cover-up of pedophile predatory behavior ravages one's sense of trust in any goodness at all.

Raises some questions; no doubt about that at all.

How could others turn a blind eye?
How could this man's theology not scream at him he was in the wrong? (I read in the news he was a church goer of some regularity.)
How did he get himself involved in sex with minors to begin with, and why did he determine to start the charity?

I could go on.

It's all about sight, or lack thereof. I have some windows to wash so,

more later from the Wild Wood.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Reporting on an Unusual Week

I wrote a teaser on June 6. Thought by the weekend, surely, I'd have a new post up. Little did I know what kind of week I was about to enter.

The following piece of news from our little community actually went world wide:

On Friday, June 8, as children showed up for the last night of vacation Bible school (VBS), they began to play in the church cemetery. Like many small, country churches, the cemetery is located near to the church building with no fences or boundary markers of any kind. Anyone at any time can simply stroll through the monuments. A freak accident occurred and a twelve hundred pound, stone cross broke off the top of its monument and fell upon one four-year-old little girl. She didn't survive the trauma.

This child was the second child of one of my former students. The former student is from a family my wife and I have been friends with for over thirty years. In fact, the precious child who died so suddenly came to Christmas dinner at our house as a swaddled infant when our two families gathered to share a holiday meal--a tradition we had kept for one and half decades.

This event wrenched our hearts and commanded our thoughts and prayers for many days.

The day after the funeral, we received a call that my wife's mom had been admitted to a local hospital for emergency angioplasty. This was her second such operation in a little over a year. We packed and left for Clayton on Wednesday. I am happy to report my mother-in-law is doing well and getting better. The operation turned out to be needed to fix the first stent.

Friday, as we worked around Mom's and Dad's house for a few days, we heard the news from our hometown that a sixteen-year-old boy had been killed in an auto accident Thursday night. Once he had been identified, I learned he and the boy driving the truck were both former students of mine. Their faces were easy to connect to their names in my mind's eye.

I have been thinking much about death this week. Not morbidly or even sadly, though two of the events mentioned here are horribly sad for the families involved. I just find myself thinking it over.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I have been debating what to do after a couple of months of silence. I either start fresh or pick up in the middle of the last series.

Either way, just thought I'd rumble a bit and let the world know, I am thinking again.