This past Friday the kids and I joined a few other people to participate in a Photo Walk in Downtown Brunswick. Now this has been on my calendar for a month. On Thursday, the day before, there was a fatal shooting in Downtown Brunswick. Of course it made news, even CNN was here. We talked about and decided that we would rework our walk to include a stop at the vigil sight where the 13 month old boy, Antonio Santiago, was shot by two local teenage boys. It was a sobering and surreal moment as we sat for a moment at the vigil sight.
Senseless murder, whether in Connecticut or in Brunswick, Georgia, breaks my heart. It was only four months ago when young children at Sandy Hook lost their lives to a senseless act of murder, but now it has hit home. There is an outcry of anger, rage, and hatred.
I'm at a loss for words. My heart is just breaking. My thoughts also go to the fact that I probably was their substitute teacher, or that I watched them play ball as they were growing up. Where did we go wrong in their lives? How did we let them get so far off track? Is there something that we could have done to alter this life changing decision for these boys?
As I was at Palm Sunday service last night, I had a lady ask me how I handle this kind of news for the radio station, without being so angry. Simply put, I told her, we need to forgive these boys. Not for their sake, but because Jesus Christ has called us to. Jesus has forgiven us of our sins...ALL sins. If we (I) hold on to the hatred and anger then we (I) lose out on what it is that Christ did on the cross. I miss the point of His sacrifice. By all accounts, I am just as guilty as these two young men. I am just as guilty.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 5: 17-18,
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."
In Romans 3:23-26 we are told,
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Anger is an emotion we all feel, and if we really wanted to, we could justify this feeling, but as a Christian we are told to not sin in our anger, not to hold on to it, but to let it go.
Ephesians 4:26, “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry"
So today, I ask you to pray. Pray for the Santiago family, and pray for the families of the two young men who committed this crime, and pray for the two young men (boys really) who committed this crime. Pray for healing, forgiveness, and salvation.
~Peace & Blessings~