I grew up in a rural sleepy town and worked on a dairy farm. My exposure to the outside world was limited, at best. Shortly after graduation I moved to central Florida and became a cop. I quickly realized that I was not in “Kansas” anymore. It was not the state; it was the job. What was once hidden from view became my life.
Indescribable evil is what first responders deal with on a daily basis. They are not called to celebrate a birthday party unless someone drank too much, pulled their pocket knife, and proceeded to take their aggression out on a family member they “love”. People do not call 911 to wish the Thin Blue Line a Merry Christmas. They call those three numbers because they have reached their capacity to control a horrible situation. They call good men and women into the Devil’s lair where his presence is palpable.
It did not take me long to stop asking the question “why?” In the end, there is no answer that will satisfy one’s intellect for the heinous crimes violent criminals commit. All I could do was handle the situation, clean up the bodies, and move on to the next call. Nothing will allow me to listen to that answer and think, “Oh, now that makes sense” except evil. That is not a simple answer; it is the most complex answer we have, for in it are all the troubles of this world.
When someone lashes out, they have simply followed through with the evil that is already in their heart. It makes us feel better to put a title, a drug, a horrible parent, poverty, wealth (as is the case in CT.), etc. so that we can rebuild the false walls of security in our naïve minds. That way when someone else decides to do something as hideous as shoot kids or use a hammer to beat their neighbor to death (Jared Brooks, Seffner, FL 12-15-12), we can search for a title and go to sleep thinking, “See, that’s why he did it, his mom was dismissive of his needs.” Really?
God has clearly given us free will. From the beginning of time, we have run from the very God who loves us. The Bible—history—records one generation after another who chose death over life, hate over love, and self over others. Our possessiveness, anger, and wrath are the headlines of antiquity. Where is God we ask? God is where He’s always been, here (Rom. 5:8). He awaits our choice to turn towards Him or remain distant from Him. His arms are not crossed while tapping his foot and scowling. He is waiting with anxious anticipation of our return to His ways (Pro. 8:17). He runs to greet those who return to Him (Luke 15:20). He desires love yet we continue to desire hate. From those feelings of jealousy of a fellow worker to planning their ruin, we turn our back on the only source of hope; Jesus Christ.
Christmas is a time to remember that He came to save us from His wrath and it is our choice (1 Jhn.4:9-12). The answer to “Why?” is simple: evil exists in the heart of each of us and only God can cleanse us of our own self-destruction (Mth.12:35).
Freewill; the greatest gift, our greatest failure.
“So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.” 1 John 3:10