Our hearts and minds have been mesmerized by the events in Boston this week. Big disasters garner big reactions from the public. The suddenness and the scale of the tragedy have at times felt overwhelming. The press has given us more than enough images and details of the horrendous actions of the two evil men accused of planning this monstrous act. One is dead and can’t tell his story. But we celebrate the capture of the other one and pray that he will provide information that will answer the burning question of “Why?” While we wait there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people involved in dealing with the aftermath of those brief moments of violence. There has been an outpouring of prayers and both emotional and financial support for the victims and their families. Lives have been changed forever and now the difficult task of moving ahead begins.
We point to events such as this as evidence that evil exists in the world. But we don’t need images of massive carnage to prove our case. We need only look inside the home of a young Chicago couple. Last week they beat their one-year-old son to death with a belt. One held his mouth shut so his screams would not alert his grandmother in a nearby apartment and the other hit him repeatedly with the belt until he was unconscious. Then they left him on the floor to die. They later concocted the story that he had been abducted, forced their four-year-old to memorize the lie, and disposed of his body in the river. That is evil and insanity and tragedy. Yet few people know anything about the death of this young child, nor will they ever hear about it.
My point this morning is that evil has always existed. It exists today in our own neighborhoods. We must be careful not to wait for the next big event before we take action against it. We must not overlook the people all around us who are suffering silently or dying quietly.
And we must not be fearful of living our lives with love and faith and hope…even when evil temporarily seems overwhelming.
Do not fret because of evil men
Or be envious of the wicked,
For the evil man has no future hope,
And the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.