A gut-punch: I know the guy they arrested. And I know his kids.

Mug Shot

What do you do when the face in the police news column is a familiar one?

Knowing that the face staring out of the police news is somebody’s father or sister or brother is never enough to stop my mind from racing through the latest crime statistics or thinking about the police chief‘s great job in managing gang information.

Today, I know whose father it is. And she’s a good girl. And he’s a good boy. They’re a good family. I’ve met their pastor. And I can’t imagine what Mom and kids and minister are saying and thinking and imagining right now. What seemed like a steady and solid future, built on two hard-working parents and the good students they were raising, must seem like it has entirely collapsed. Who will pay the bills? Will the kids stay on track? How can everyone forgive?

The news report uses the word “alleged,” as our system of justice requires. But it doesn’t leave a lot of room for doubt. Not that the deed was done; not that Dad is going to end up in prison having the worst kind of bad prison experience.

And in all of this, the minister has to care for Mom … and the kids … and Dad.

Like Jesus does.

I’m glad I’m not Jesus today. I’m ashamed that I’m not up to it. And I’m praying for the minister and the family … and my own lack of God’s love.

When is it hardest for you to love as God loves?


About Carlene Byron

Writer, editor, publicist, communications project manager ... I've written technology and infrastructure; I used to edit New England Church Life and The New England Christian and I've freelanced to publications ranging from Commonweal to Christianity Today. I'm now living in my hometown in Maine and am speaking about global perspectives on suicide prevention.
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One Response to A gut-punch: I know the guy they arrested. And I know his kids.

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