“God already knew this was going to happen. It is sad There is reason and purpose for everything.” – Facebook comment
This is the story as I understand it, a woman puts her two young children into her car and drives to an apartment complex. There she shoots and kills a lady in the parking deck that is somehow involved with her estranged husband. She drives towards her house located in a small community about 10 miles away but stops before she gets home. She pulls into a parking lot and shoots both of her young children in the head and then kills herself. This happened last Thursday evening.
I posted recently that I had gotten a Facebook account because many of the activities I am involved in, hikes, and bicycle rides are now only posted on Facebook. I have my privacy settings on lock down, no friends, you can’t find me. Even my Dad who spends all day, everyday trying to find “new friends” doesn’t know I am on.
This tragic event happened in my community, honestly in my backyard. I don’t know anyone who was involved but it shook me to my core. On October 25, 1994 a woman by the name of Susan Smith from Union, SC, a community right up the road from me, buckled her two young children into her car with the intention of driving all of them including herself into a lake. She changed her mind as the car was sinking but couldn’t save her two babies who both drowned.
1994 was pre-social media, pre-Facebook. About the only way to get your “thoughts” out there back then was to write a letter to your local paper and as I remember it the letters poured in. These letters ranged from concern to disgust. Prays were extended as were offers to personally flip the switch on the electric chair. I had two small children myself then, a four-year old and a one-year old. My heartached for the father, for the grandparents, for the friends and for Susan Smith who remains in prison.
Twenty-three years later and another senseless tragedy has struck again and my heartaches but this time there are many more souls involved, two fathers, multiple grandparents, parents, friends, and the victims. And the other change from twenty-three years ago, social media.
As I read the news accounts of this story on Facebook I also read some of the comments people had posted. Many, if not most, were consoling offering prays, blessings and grace to those involved. Others, though, were not so kind. Honestly they were ugly, mean and disgusting. But one comment really bothered me and also bothered a number of other people; “God already knew this was going to happen. It is sad. There is reason and purpose for everything.”
For many of you that have followed my blog for the last year and a half you know that I struggle with “some” of the people who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ. The lady who posted this comment could be the poster child for my troubles with many Christians. Her statement is devoid of any of the compassion Jesus spoke about or taught.
According to this woman, the murder, the execution of three souls, two of them innocent children was on God’s drawing board from the very beginning. As I read this lady’s statement, when the woman at the center of all this mayhem was born 36 years ago God knew then she would have two children, murder the friend of her estranged husband, then murder her two children plus kill herself. I am sorry, that is not the God that I believe exists and if that is the true nature of God, then I don’t believe in God or any of the other trappings of the Christian faith. This lady was taken to task but some for her comment but I was surprised by the number of people who supported her and continue to support her this morning.
So where does this leave me? I don’t know. I try to imagine how the two father’s feel right now after having lost their sweet children. I try to imagine how the parents feel after their 26-year-old daughter was killed in a cold-blooded rage. I try to imagine what was in this mother’s mind as she drove away from the parking deck after having just shot someone, her two babies in the car with her, just a few miles from her home and then stopping and firing three more shoots. What I can’t imagine is the amount of pain she must have been in to commit this horrible act or why she thought this was a reasonable and rational solution. I simply can’t imagine. I also can’t imagine a God who would have knowingly let this happen, who would have predicted this outcome and let people suffer. That is not the God that I know.