I usually do not follow criminal trials and I don't like shows like Law and Order or CSI, but the trial in Florida that ended today caught my attention over six weeks ago when I was visiting my parents in Florida. I knew nothing of the case, but they were watching it and I soon got drawn in. Perhaps it was because it involved a young child. Cases about the murder of children always touched a nerve in me. How could anyone murder their own child? I watched the proceedings daily, if not the actual trial, I watched the commentaries that were on in the evening. I was convinced of her guilt. Needles to say I was greatly disappointed with the verdict of not guilty on all counts except for lying to the police.
Three things came to me as a result of this trial, that I feel are good for personal reflection. First is the consequences of lying. "Everybody lies," as Dr. House would say. But lying, as we have seen in this trial, leads to other lies and deceptions, and after a time it may be impossible for the truth to be known. The pursuit of truth, whether in the secular or spiritual realm, should be a goal that we all strive for. I admit, that one of my weaknesses, one of my sins, has been lying. Although my lies were no where near the outrageous fabrications of the young woman on trial, my lies were brought on, like hers and other witnesses, by a need to protect myself or others, and to avoid unwanted actions and consequences. However, I came to discover that lies, no matter how small, just delay the inevitable and don't really protect anyone. The truth is always the best course to take.
The second thing I am coming away with is the power of the media. How much of our lives are controlled by the secular and even religious media. Most of the media had this woman guilty and did much to convince their viewers of her guilt as well. How much of our religious beliefs are swayed by what I read and see on the news and the internet. Yes, the media is necessary to make people aware of what is going on in the world, but when it dictates what we think, or when we allow it to, then it becomes dangerous. We need to be able to discern the truth.
The third thing that gives me something to reflect on is the number of children who are basically "thrown away" by parents who do not care for them. There are probably thousands if not millions of unwanted and uncared for children throughout the world, children who need homes, medical care, food and most of all love. In addition are the thousands of children who are abused by their parents or other adults. What do we do about it? What can we do about it? If we do nothing, are we basically allowing it to continue? I don't know if there is an answer.
Finally, and this is what probably bothers me most, is the fact that there are the millions of unborn children who are aborted simply because it would be inconvenient for them to be born. I wonder how many people who are outraged at the not guilty verdict in the killing of this one two year old child, think nothing about the killing of thousands of unborn children.
This evening I am taking a few things to prayer. I am praying for this young woman, who will have to live with herself, if indeed she is guilty. We may not know the truth, but God knows, and if justice was not done today, then it will be in the next life. I pray for her family, who I believe have basically been destroyed by this trial and by the lies. I hope they can rebuild their lives. I pray for the beautiful child, and for all children who are murdered, abused, or abandoned by those who should love them the most. I pray too for all those women who feel that their unborn children would be an inconvenience, would cramp their style, disrupt their lives, or feel they have no other choice. I pray that they will have a change of heart, bring their child to term, and offer that child in adoption to a loving mom and dad who will love them for the rest of their lives. I pray for the children.
"A voice was heard in Ramah: wailing and great mourning. Rachel was crying for her children. She refused to be comforted, because they no longer existed."