Today

I know the face of evil. It is extraordinarily ugly; it looks just like us. The link I am sharing is about an evil that struck our community today. It is still reverberating and the aftershocks will go on for a lifetime… What follows after the link is my attempt to process and offer a small token of encouragement…

http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/local/2017/05/18/jackson-amber-alert/329460001/

Today an unspeakable evil has raised its ugly head in our community. It’s not the first time. It will not be the last time.

One thing I have learned is this: none of us are too far removed from the pain and heartache of tragedy. The ability and inclination to harm others surprises us as it rises to take root in what we think are unlikely people. Evil reaches out and hurts even the most vulnerable among us.

My family has certainly experienced this. Others among us have as well. Still others will face some extraordinary ugliness in the future.

If there is another thing I know, it’s the white-hot rage that desires answers and retribution. The evil that has given birth to such deep pain and emotions can well spark an ugliness in our own hearts and actions.

At such a time, we would do well to heed the words of James: My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. (James 1:19-20 CSB17)

Can I confess? The thing that has struck our community today makes me extraordinarily angry. It makes me so very sad. It reminds me of my own tragedies. It draws out my own pain. It hurts to know that other families will now be forever changed by a moment of inexplicable horror.

However, as we contemplate the brokenness of our world, I am reminded of Paul’s words in Romans 16:19b-20, I want you to be wise about what is good, and yet innocent about what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. (CSB17)

Evil does not win. Evil does not have the last word.

But in the meantime, may the lament of David be our own—may we find comfort in God alone…

The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry for help. The face of the LORD is set against those who do what is evil, to remove all memory of them from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. The LORD is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit. (Psalms 34:15–18 CSB17)

Rest in peace, Kingston Frazier.

May God bless his family.

May God bless us all.

Les Ferguson, Jr.