I made the mistake of watching the news yesterday morning. The lead story was the pedophile rape case out of Penn State University involving a former, prominent football coach and several young boys. (Google it if you’re not aware; it’s heinous.) That story was enough to make my blood boil and my stomach turn, but before I could even begin to process it the ticker at the bottom of the screen rolls with a brief mention of a newborn baby found in a dumpster apparently having been strangled to death. An infant strangled, and it doesn’t even get a mention. But since there is only 30 minutes for the news, the Anchors smoothly transitioned to a story of a 21-year-old woman gunned down on Chicago’s south side. What was the mistake that got her killed? Walking out of the wrong bakery at the wrong time with a birthday cake for her young daughter.
I don’t even have a response to these stories, but I am overwhelmed by the weight of pain that comes with this kind of evil and hurt and loss. I have no idea how to respond, but it’s not because I am numb. There churns within me a desire to reap vengeance on those guilty men, to hurt them as bad as they’ve hurt others and to call it justice. There wells up tears of sorrow for the hurt that exists, for the families that are broken now. Boys lost their dignity and innocence at the hands of a rapist. A mama killed her baby. A baby lost her mama. And there is nothing I can do to fix it, to solve this mess. There aren’t words for this kind of horror, but keeping silent about it is not an option. I have to go to work, do my job, be a husband and dad, and not be paralyzed by this evil.
It’s not supposed to be like this. It’s not ok. It’s not right. Someone needs to pay for this. Someone needs to fix the mess of world.
And so I cling to this hope.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Jesus has paid the painful price for the evil, for any who repent of it; justice has been done. He will forever punish those who refuse to repent; justice will be done.
Jesus will return and bring with him, in purity and power, the perfect world we long for, the world without all this evil and pain. He will make all things new. He will fix this mess.
For all who are faithful to Jesus, this pain will be temporary. It won’t be easy. It won’t be light. And it won’t be eternal.
The only response is “Come Lord, Jesus.”