A Handful Of Darkness

A 4-year old abducted and raped in Wilmington.  A chemical gas strike against innocent civilians in Syria.  A terrorist attack in Stockholm.  It has been a very dark week.  Things we shouldn’t hear about in the news.  But we do, because there is darkness in the world.  People who do very bad things.  If these perpetrators’ actions weren’t killing people, they were traumatizing them.  They turned people into victims.  Today was one of those days where you were afraid to see what happens next.

I lived in Sweden in the mid 1990s from February,1996 to May, 1997.  I worked in Stockholm, the nation’s capital.  The two places I worked at were on Drottningsgatan (Queen St.) where the hijacked beer truck purposely tried to hit as many pedestrians as possible before it crashed into Åhlens department store.  Right below the store is T-Centralen, which is the Grand Central of the Stockholm subway system.  It is a miracle only 4 lives were lost (as of this writing) and 15 injured.  It shocked Sweden as it does any country where these acts of cowardice happen.  Had I still lived there, I could have very easily been right where that truck hit  shortly before 3pm if I continued to work at either of those jobs.  A witness reported the driver went right into a baby carriage.  Who does that kind of thing?  What cause is ever worth taking innocent lives?  I can’t think of any.

Everyone is going nuts about Trump lobbing missiles at Syria.  I won’t weigh in on whether I thought that was right or wrong, but I do know the chemical weapons attack against civilians in Syria was wrong.  And it wasn’t the first time this happened.  It is a horrible way to die that no man, woman, or child should ever have to go through.  But they did.  They were not able to cry out for justice as the air was stripped away from their bodies.

Last night a little girl in Wilmington, only four years old, was abducted while playing with friends.  She was raped and put in a park after.  Four years old.  I can’t even fathom someone doing that to anyone, much less a precious child.  I pray for her and her family today.  It used to be you could leave your kids to play outside on your own street.  Now the parents in that community are scared because the monster is still on the loose.

For all this darkness, there is always light.  Today, I proudly watched as a family I know officially adopted a foster child they took in a year ago.  3B: Brae’s Brown Bags took part in an event where Delaware children and adults got together to help end hunger in our state.  Even with some cold and windy weather, I got to see flowers and leaves popping up today.  My son made the Honor Roll at his school.  I watched two people I know, one most of my life and the other I met only once, go through very tough health issues but they both look to be on the mend.  There are good things happening every day but far too many of us see the bad.

We don’t have to let a handful of darkness block out the light in our lives.  We can find that light, or even become a part of it.  It doesn’t mean we don’t mourn and bow our heads in prayer when bad things happen.  But we also need to celebrate the good.  It isn’t easy, but it really is the only way to keep your sanity.

The Death Paradox

Paradox

If you look on social media and some of the blogs today, many Delawareans are talking about the vote in the House yesterday on the Death Penalty Repeal bill.  Senate Bill 40 passed in the Senate but the House shot it down with a 17-22 vote.  On the record, it was a 16-23 vote, but State Rep. Kim Williams voted no so the bill could have a potential shot at being reconsidered.

I will firmly state I am against the death penalty.  Like State Rep. Sean Lynn said yesterday, if there is even a chance of an error, than we cannot and should not put a person’s life on the line like that.  With that being said, I also oppose abortion.  To me, life is life.  Yes, the death penalty was put in place to execute the most egregious of criminals out there, but the Bible firmly states “Thou shalt not kill.”  Under that line of thought, a fetus is a life just as much as a murderer on death row.

For abortion, I believe that all life has an unfulfilled purpose.  I saw a post on Facebook this morning where a woman talked about being raped.  She had a child and gave it up for adoption.  Many years later, that very same child saved a woman from being raped at a party.  I often think about what could happen with children who are not able to reach their full potential.  Some don’t have a chance at all.  I used to be against all abortion with the exception of a woman who is a victim of rape.  I have changed that view in recent years because there are other options.  I understand women in those situations are given no choice.  But I have no doubt, if even 1% of our most famous inventors, writers, musicians, or leaders were born out of that environment, our world would be a lesser place had they not been born.

For families who have lost a loved one to a murderer, I cannot even begin to imagine your pain.  I have never gone through that, and I pray I never will.  I think every human being on this planet has thought about revenge at one point or another.  In my view, it doesn’t take away the event that precipitated the feeling of pain.  It simply masks it and any feeling from it tends to be short-term and can cause more psychological scars down the road.  And what if the guilty are not guilty?  I would find it very difficult to deal with if I found out I wanted death for someone who turned out to be innocent.

These aren’t easy issues, and based on some of the votes yesterday in the House, this can’t be seen as a simple Democrat or Republican issue.  Sure, many Democrats support death penalty repeal but favor a woman’s choice for abortion.  On the Republican side, it tends to be the opposite.  How many are out there that support both or are against both?  Please take the poll below.  I am very curious how people stand on these very controversial issues.