Friday, October 06, 2006


Today I was listening to NPR, a show that was reviewing the week's news, and someone called in to say how we should all be noting and learning from the Amish's amazing behavior in light of the tragedy there. He noted that they are not on CNN raging and crying and calling for justice, they're not on websites asking for disaster relief... they are simply grieving, forgiving, and coping as a community. He said these were qualities that all Christians were taught, but rarely use.
I immediately thought of the families of those who died in the tragic Station Night Club fire. They constantly appear on television and call for "justice" and when the owners of the club weren't put in jail for life, they wailed that they wanted the owners to be punished, that they didn't think they had been punished enough for their mistake, and that until they spend their lives in jail, they won't feel like they've gotten justice for the deaths of their family members and friends.
Just recently when the owners were given their sentences, there was a lot of outrage, but I just felt sad. These men are not killers, and the fire was a horrible, tragic, accident. I don't see how going away to prison would help any of the victims' family members feel better, or mourn less. Does any sane person say, in their grief and loss, "well at least someone went to prison"? I don't see how making someone else suffer- justice. Where did we lose touch with what justice means? Who has taught us that it means equal pain?
When I'm home during the day I see ads for local lawyers that horrify me. They show people saying "My life was ruined because of someone's mistake. Now they're getting what they deserve". I think that's about the saddest thing I've ever heard.
I've been truly blessed in my life to not have been touched by close, personal tragedy, so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. But my prayer is that when it does happen, on whichever end, (whether it's something that happens to me, or some mistake I make-)that true justice will be found in forgiveness and charity, not revenge or spite.

No comments: