I went too far. Curiosity opened the door to a putrid part of my job. I just didn’t understand how someone could have several counts of possession of child pornography. My mind told me it was several files. It couldn’t have told me there would be descriptions of what was on those videos. I didn’t get through half of the police report before getting sick to my stomach and closing the file. However, the Lord revealed something rather depressing to me. It was simple, but profound. He said, “I can’t afford to look away.”
I have the utmost respect for officers and soldiers, especially those who deal with murder, sexual abuse, and violence. It takes a strong individual to walk in on a murder scene. It takes an enduring spirit to witness the results of suicide. It takes mental fortitude to write the report from a child that was sexually abused. It takes unflinching passion to study the autopsy of a murder rape victim. You can’t just read a report, like I did, and look away. You have to walk through that part of life with people.
You have to be the one to tell a father their daughter was shot and killed by their boyfriend. You have to tell the mother that their son committed suicide. You have to tell the child that their parents died in an accident caused by a drunk driver. You have to listen to the excuses a woman makes for the boyfriend that sexually abused her child. You have to prevent the drug addict from destroying himself. You have to catch the predator disguising itself as a nurse in the nursing home. You can’t just pass it off to the next person. You have to do the heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, and mind-altering dirty work that is policing the dark side of humanity. There is no escape when you put on that uniform.
The Lord does the same, except on a global scale. There is not a sin committed that isn’t witnessed by God. Those statistics that say someone is raped every few seconds, God is there for every single one. Those cruel, sacrificial rituals that involve babies and animals are known by God. Those reports about mass genocide are all witnessed by God. Those stories of chemical warfare, forced starvation, sex rings, abductions, forced sexual labor, murder suicides, and more, are all embedded into the memory of God.
I had so many questions arise when I discovered this gruesome detail about my Lord, but honestly, I cried. How could anyone who witnessed these things say anything positive about our species? Day after day, hour after hour, second after second, God willingly witnesses the worst of us. How does He not flood the earth every year? How does He see these things daily and still want to fight for the good in us? How does He relent as much as He does? Had I seen half these things, I would’ve Ananias and Sapphira’d every guilty party. Yet, God lets it happen. Why?
It took me a long time to realize why God’s thoughts are above our thoughts and plans are above our plans. We are like toddlers playing in the ocean water at the beach. If a wave is slightly bigger than what we’re accustomed to, we panic. Yet, God, the attentive parent, watches very closely, and is always ready to launch our bodies out of the water.
Sometimes, God lets the wave hit us. He lets us try to swim through it. He wants us to understand the situation we’re in, learn to fend for ourselves, and be responsible. When you realize most of the world’s problems can be solved by humanity humbling itself, you begin to see why God moves so patiently and quietly.
Can you imagine a world where God’s response was always seen? If He struck down the people we deemed to be worthy of a strike, we’d all be too afraid to do anything, because there’s always someone who believes you are worthy of Godly discipline. Even with grace, we are afraid to live out our lives. We are stifled by our guilt and the sinful nature it sprouted from. In that world, we would live out our days afraid to mess up, but that’s not what God wants for us.
When I look at the state of the world, I wondered how God felt about it. I was granted an inkling of the sorrow He felt in His heart about the pain we enforce on each other, and it was overwhelming. There was so much hope for us. Yet, there was much disappointment coupled with it. We have all the power to become godly people for one another, yet we actively choose to be each other’s demons. God is calling us to a literally easier life, and we refuse to relent on our greed, secrecy, justification, and misery. We cling to it like it’s the best thing in the world when the best thing in the world will only come when we let sin go.
What does it benefit us to treat our children worse than pets, having them locked away in rooms, poorly fed, and rotting in the stench of their own feces? Where’s the profit in refusing to reprimand church staff for abusing the congregation, the poor, the orphans, and the widows, parading under the image of God’s family while working for Satan? Who succeeds when hate fuels most of society, as they allow the worst to happen because they don’t think they deserve the best? Where is the justice in watching evil, but doing nothing about it?
Next time your neighbor beats on their spouse and children, we need to stop them. Next time a drug dealer shows up on a corner, we need to point them out to the authorities. Next time a politician lies, we need to remove their position from them. Next time the judge makes an inappropriate ruling, their seat needs to be taken. Next time an officer abuses his or her badge, we need to strip them of their authority. Next time the president acts like a tyrant, we need to remove him or her from office. Next time our military leaders asks us to further provoke the world, we need to dishonorably discharge them. Justice is not reserved for a uniform, cloak, or suit. Minding our business should not apply when witnessing evil. Justice is a part of society. We need to be justice as well as do justice. Justice is of God, and it is not to be trifled with.
Just as God sees the wicked, He sees the just. For every crime committed, He watches the arrests that were made. He sees when generosity is given. He cheers when love is expressed rather than hate. He appreciates the fight for righteousness. There’s a reason wickedness is never kept secret.
That is why He is patient with us. We are not all bad. We are not all evil. Some of us are actually fighting to make this world a better, safer place. He recognizes that, and supports us only in the way He can. Every person from this planet has the ability to do morally well. God is waiting for us to tap into that potential, and, one by one, change the world around us.
Maybe it is time for us to not look away. Maybe we shouldn’t turn the channel, cut off the video, or keep scrolling. Maybe we should speak up and make known the images of evil around us. Maybe we should exercise our right to call the police, petition the senate, vote for the office, and bring justice to the communities we cherish.
God, in His infinite wisdom, created heaven for all of us. In such a place, evil does not exist. There is no reason for sorrow because people do not hurt one another. It is a paradise full of peace, joy, content, and goodness. It is a place meant for every human being. If we are all meant for heaven, and heaven does not have a blind eye, maybe we, heaven's people, should stop having a blind eye while we’re here on Earth as well.
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