The news article posted on Facebook caused a buzz. In a span of 24 hours:
145 comments (not counting the replies to comments)
A mother had done the unthinkable – caused the death of her child through poor choices of her own. She broke the sacred trust that all mothers have – protect your child at all costs. Her own actions that breached of this sacred trust now puts her at the mercy of those who call for justice for the child. The sadness of the moment gives way to anger and rage that is certainly characterizing this era of outrage we are living in.
The anger demands a sacrifice to be laid upon it’s altar. What will that sacrifice be? Who will satisfy this need for justice and quench the fiery rage? The mother of course. She’s at fault therefore she must be the sacrifice to appease our anger. However, in order to sacrifice her on that altar we must begin with assigning a value to her because it’s much easier to destroy someone, or something, that is deemed to have no worth. For if she had any value then how could we destroy her? From the sadness turned to anger that demands a sacrifice, the onslaught of devaluing the person begins. In the eyes of those calling for blood her actions have made her “a piece of trash, garbage, worthless piece of garbage (some garbage is better than others I guess) a scumbag” and a host of other equally worthless descriptions.
Once her worth is assigned as having no value we can move to finding a just punishment for this person of no worth. Let’s see what would be just in the eyes of the mob? How much blood will be enough satisfy our hearts? The options are many from sticking her in a hole, locking her up and throwing away the key, sterilizing her, hang her, give her the death penalty or just simply letting her rot somewhere. Would these really satisfy? Some have suggest that no punishment would be enough. If that’s the case then our sense of anger and rage will never be satisfied. Even so, she must be destroyed. After all, she has no worth.
Now let me be clear on something. What the mother did was wrong. It caused the death of a beautiful little child. I do not defend her actions and I believe those actions warrant consequences to be imposed by legal authorities not an angry crowd crying for retribution. However, the moment I would have the audacity to stand between this mother and the mob I am also branded by the crowd. Yes, I now am what they would call a “white knighter, clown, bleeding heart and a host of other things. Because I would defend her (not her actions) as a person, I will be vilified with her. Due to the fact that I would have the nerve to care about this broken and hurting mother I will be branded as not caring about the life of that little child. Nothing could be further from the truth. Let me pose a question: “Do you really think that child would want it’s mother destroyed?” If you do, you don’t know the heart of a child. You want to do something for that child? Help the mother and dare I say love her.
Our society seems to be developing a void. Many don’t recognize it and some don’t even care but nonetheless it’s a void that is very dangerous to a society. It’s the void of compassion or empathy. In this age of rage compassion and empathy seem to be declining. Or, maybe it’s just that today’s social media platforms have given a stage and a podium to our anger to the point that these other virtues are just clouded.
The intent of this writing isn’t necessarily to change the thinking of those who would call for the demise of this mother. It is a cry for Christ-followers to reveal the true nature of Christ in this age of rage. Notice I didn’t use the term “Christian”. Why? Because many who would call themselves Christians seem to advocate for such a bloodthirsty demise for this “mother of no worth”. Somehow they attend a “christian” church and cry for blood. Ironically they, who professed to be “redeemed” see no possible way this mother can be redeemed. Some, who would label themselves as Christian would even go so far as suggesting that Jesus is anticipating the moment when He can banish this woman to hell for her actions. The truth is He is looking for her NOW. And, it’s to offer her love, compassion, forgiveness and healing for her. I wonder if He can be found through us?
I choose to use Christ-follower for that demands we follow a person not a tenant of faith. What would the person we follow do? Christ – followers will mourn the loss of a child. They will mourn the state of the mother that caused such a horrendous thing. Christ-followers will know that consequences for poor choices are a necessity, but will offer love and compassion in the midst of it. True Christ-followers will defend the worth of a person while not defending the actions of the person. Christ followers will have the audacity to stand between the crowd and her while even taking a few stones that were aimed at her.
Many would determine the worthlessness of this woman because of the actions that took this little life. They view her worth as a person through the lens of this tragedy and her actions. I cannot do that. Scripture doesn’t afford that to me. For you see, her worth as well as mine was predetermined before she was even born. It was determined on a hill called Calvary where Jesus gave His life for her, and for me. His life for mine. His life for hers. When Jesus, the innocent, paid the price for the guilty the worth of the guilty was forever sealed. He did not die more for me than he did her. My worth to Him is not greater because I am a pastor. My worth is not determined by my actions it was determined by His action.
I don’t even know this mother. Of course neither do many of those calling for her demise. Some will cry: “how can you defend her? (not her actions) It’s simple. Jesus died for her, He loves her and His heart breaks for Her. As a Christ follower I must do what He does. I must be like Him and fill the void of compassion that is creeping into this world. Will you fill the void?