One of my co-workers lost her father last night.  Upon returning home from church last evening, he found his garage blocked by a group of men, so he asked that they move.  They elected not to, choosing instead to stab this gentleman, a man in his mid-70s.  A man on his way home from his Tuesday evening Bible studies, a man likely wanting nothing more than to put his car in the garage, and retire inside for the evening with his wife.

Instead, his wife had to watch her husband bleed out in the alley from the stab wound he suffered, and watch too-late EMTs attempt to stave off the bleeding.  News reports say he died at an area hospital.

FOR WHAT?  FOR WHAT?  FOR WHAT?

At what point is murder one's initial reaction to being asked to move aside?  Human life is of such inconsequential value to you that of course you stab an old man who asks/tells you to move?  What did you do after you stabbed this man?  Besides run.  Did you go home to sleep?  Did you brag?  Did you feel one single sliver of shame or regret?  Maybe the value of this man's life is nothing to you, and that chills me in a way I will never find the words to express.  I hope I am wrong.

You'll be forgiven in time.  My co-worker and her family are extremely devoted in their faith, so I know they'll find room in their hearts for forgiveness.  She is a much finer person than I.  She has prayed for me and my son--prayer and her belief in healing through prayer are part of her essential make-up; if you know her, you know this.  I imagine prayer and her belief in healing through prayer will lead her to her own healing.  I don't know how the families of murder victims come to this place of peace, but many do.  I'm not sure it is in my essential make-up to make that leap, and I hope to the ends of the earth I will never have to find out.   How will I talk about this with my children?

My city is killing itself.  My city is killing me. 

For the record, an appropriate response to being asked to move is "Certainly.  Pardon me."  Murder isn't among any of the choices.  Ever.  

Published by Wendy Weir