Earlier this week, the three teenagers who had been robbing Marion homes were arrested. The topic was brought up with a group of people and a few of us were discussing if the teens should be tried as adults. Someone made the comment that because of the things they were doing (raping a woman) that they should be tried as adults. I would agree with that. However, someone else made the comment that they have no sympathy for these boys. That is where we differ. I fully believe that these boys need to be brought to trial and get punished for what they did. I cannot even imagine what they put that poor woman through. I cannot comprehend the physical, mental, and emotional pain they put her through. However, those three teenagers still need loved. I’m sure they don’t know what love is, have a crappy home life and don’t have good role models. And I’m sure there was negative behavior that led up to all the break ins. But God still loves them as much as He loves me. He wants justice, but He also wants them to know how He feels about them. I was reading in 1 Peter 4 this morning and verse 8 says that love covers a multitude of sin. Those three boys need Jesus just as much as I do. I don’t know if they have criminal pasts or not, but as I was thinking about this whole situation I began to think about the juvenile detention home ministry (d home) I’m involved with. The last few weeks that we’ve gone to the d home for church, I’ve been feeling like, wow this is what I need to be doing right now. It’s only taken two and a half years for me to get that point. Ha! But the conversations I’ve had with the girls have so much impact on their lives. I know that they listen to me, and they go back to their pods to think about what I’ve said. I can see so much hurt and anger in their eyes. I can hear a longing for attention and love in their voices. And all I get with them now is an hour a month. It makes me feel like maybe that one hour will open their eyes to Jesus and what He can be for them. Maybe my hour will keep them from getting into more trouble. If my past and my experiences can help them to change, than it was all worth it.
Now switching to a slightly different topic that can be somewhat connected, I watched two minute video yesterday about ISIS. I have not really been staying up with all that is going on. I just know it’s bad. But I decided to watch this video yesterday to see what I could learn. The entire two minutes was filled with men driving in a car down the road and shooting at other cars and pedestrians until they were dead. The cars would run off the road, and the men would drive over to the car, open the doors and continue to shoot them. It was horrific. I have no idea if these people were in the wrong place at the wrong time or if they were specific targets. But after I watched the video I began to think about how it almost didn’t feel real to me. I see so much violence on TV, in movies, in video games. I have become so desensitized. I watched just about whatever I wanted as a kid. And most of the bad stuff I watched with my parents because that’s what they were watching. I played all kinds of video games as kid that had violence in them. Now, I don’t think that violence on TV and in games is to blame for school shoots and other crimes. I think it can desensitize us, but there is so much more going on in people’s lives who shoot people in schools and such. About two years ago I stopped watching crime shows like NCIS, Law and Order, CSI, etc., which was all I watched. I began thinking about what I was consuming. There is nothing good or encouraging in those shows. I felt like I needed to watch things that were going to encourage me, not put fear in me. Even now when I watch shows like that I feel very convicted. This isn’t something that I think everyone should feel convicted about, but it something that God is put in me. I’m starting to pray, God make me sensitive. I want those videos to break my heart because I know they break His heart. I want to want what He wants. I want to see what He sees. I want to love the way He loves. Love covers a multitude of sin. There is so much going on in the world right now that needs our attention as Christians that I almost feel overwhelmed. Where do I start? What do I pray for first? So I choose to keep my eyes on Him. All my hope is in Him. And I choose to love to the best of my abilities.