It’s been said to read both the newspaper and the Bible every day.
This past Saturday morning I was pretty depressed and downright angry.
I read the newspaper (online!), and the Bible much later.
Every morning I follow a similar routine. After I get ready for work, I first go to a local coffee shop to drink coffee and eat breakfast. The thing to know is that I’m not there for the coffee or food. My distinct purpose is to read the daily news, and then at least begin my Quiet Time with God, which will usually continue as I get to the office or go to a local college library to do further research on various projects.
As I was doing this Saturday, I was overwhelmed by three of the first five stories I read online. To put it bluntly, I was aghast at what I repeatedly read from one story to another because of the brutality and the complete disregard for the gift of life! Here’s a brief summary of three of those stories based on various sources (as of Saturday morning);
- 43 college students in southern Mexico have been missing since September. They were last seen traveling to the city of Iguala for a protest seeking to raise money for their school. Last week a break in the case finally came when three people were arrested and supposedly said the mayor of the city ordered the students to be abducted and turned over to a Mexican gang because their protest would interfere with the mayor and his wife’s plans for the day! The gang promptly killed the students, burned them for hours among tires and any other debris they could find, and then dumped the remains in the river.
- A mother and her boyfriend were arrested this week on charges of murdering and torturing her three year-old son. The alleged reason for this heinous crime – her son wouldn’t eat his breakfast! For that, the report says, they hanged him by his feet, bashed his head into a wall, whipped him with various implements, etc. The police have said it’s the worst case of child abuse they’ve ever seen.
- In 2010, a husband, wife, and their two young sons were murdered by blunt force to the head in their home outside San Diego. After being killed at home, they were buried in shallow graves in the Mojave Desert. Their remains were finally found in late 2013, and this week, the husband’s business partner was charged with those murders. Why did this business partner allegedly murder this entire family? Investigators don’t have a clue!
You see why I was so upset? So without finishing my quest for the latest news, I finally turned to the Word of God, and this is one of the many verses that distinctly spoke to me:
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
ensure justice for those being crushed.
Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,
and see that they get justice.”
Prov. 31:8-9 (NLT)
This, and several other verses challenged me not to simply feel sad and despondent about the stories, but to realize we as Christians are called to do something about them:
- Never live by ‘putting your head in the sand’. It’s easy to think, “Just stop reading the newspaper”, but we must be aware of what’s going on around us, no matter how depressing it might be.
- Speak and demand justice for the victims who can no longer speak! We must hold our government officials and court systems (federal and state) accountable for ensuring justice occurs in our land.
- Care for the families that are suffering.
- Feel the pain and despair, and even cry! Stories like this should make us cry and yearn for that day when we will no longer see stories like this.
The misery and hopelessness of the world should never overwhelm us, but should be a call to action as the people of God: “Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom. 12:21 NIV)
And lastly, always remember we should read the newspaper and the Bible every day – both will give us a proper perspective on life: one, what life is like around us, and the other, how we should live in the midst of such a life.