Tragedy: A Christian Response
I want to start by telling you a story. We were new parents. When Our oldest, a son, was about eighteen to twenty months we had another baby, a girl with brown hair and huge eyes. One day as I went to feed her, my son who may have been two at the time wandered off to another part of the house. The next thing I heard was a thud. I grabbed my baby girl and ran to see what happened. There was my son with a table on top of him. He had pulled it over on himself and more blood than I had ever seen was running all over. We put him in the car and dashed for the ER. It was not a fun trip. He had a skull fracture and many stitches. Fast forward about fourteen or fifteen years, I’m at a stop light and watch my youngest daughter about ten start across a street on a bike start across a street just as a truck comes around a corner into the path of the bike. She hit the side of the truck and bounced onto the road. I grabbed her up and checked her over there were no injuries, but it could have been deadly. In both cases, if one wanted to assess blame, I would have been at fault. I live with those and many more memories, having four children there were some scrapes, every day. This week the news, a toddler at the zoo climbed into a cage with a gorilla. http://www.nbcnews.com/ The gorilla had to be put down for the safety of the child. Consequently, social media has been full of people condemning the parents saying that:
the parents should be killed,
the children should be taken away,
the parents should have to be put in the cage with the gorilla
and the list of punishments goes on.
As I was reading this, my mind went to these two instances I mentioned above. Accidents like these are tragic, so perhaps a good place to start is to remember that:
We are all human and have done things worthy of blame,
Any time there is more than one child in the family, there is the potential for one of them to get into mischief without someone knowing. Don’t believe me? Have you ever woken up in the morning to cheerios, rice crispies, or some other cereal all over the kitchen? Or found magic marker or crayon on the wall because you had a budding artist who had no idea wall were not a place for a masterpiece?
Also, the parents, most likely, are already blaming themselves. We already know it’s our fault. If they are like me, I still blame myself for my son’s accident.
As I look in the Bible, at the like of Jesus, I do not see him blaming. He doesn’t say:
“This is your “fault” or “You had this coming.”
In fact, when the teachers of the law tried to trap Jesus by asking who sinned, who was to blame, the blind man or his parents, Jesus says neither were to blame.
NEWS FLASH!! Sometimes no one is to blame it is an ACCIDENT, a tragic accident, but one that will bring glory to God.
He often condemned the sin, but I see no blame. Maybe because he knows our weakness and they already knew they had messed up, just like I knew that and the parents of the child know that. Trust me; they will never forget.
My goal here is to remind people that blaming does not help. Whether it’s at work and we make a mistake, or the zoo and a child climbs in a cage with a gorilla, or at home and a child pulls a table over, it’s better to offer the same mercy that God offers us. Let God and the legal system judge that’s their job because most of the time we do not have first-hand knowledge and we do not know their heart. Perhaps God wants us to love on them if we know them and let HIM worry about blaming.