Throwing Stones At Those Who Mourn

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Matthew 5:4

When I started this blog , the idea was to help readers see God through ordinary, everyday things. My plan was never to use this space as a platform for my own opinions; however, last week something happened in my community that I feel so strongly about that I cannot keep it to myself. I hope you won’t mind if I share it with you.

Here is the backstory:

On Monday, March 8, an elderly, unlicensed driver ran a red light and broadsided a car as its driver made a left turn. There were five people riding in the car including a four-year-old boy. The boy was the only person critically injured in the crash. Seated between his parents in the backseat, he was not in a car seat but was restrained by a seat belt. On Wednesday, March 10, little Michael died from the traumatic brain injury he suffered in the accident.

On most mornings, I read my local newspaper online, and I always scan readers’ comments about the front-page stories. The accident was on the front page for several days. It spurred nearly a hundred comments about unlicensed drivers and the use of car seats for children ages eight and under. Here is a sampling:

“The roads are full of all kinds of morons . . . that parent who didn’t put his kid in a safety seat is a moron as well.”

(The writer of this next comment started with the elderly driver’s Hispanic surname.)
“Well, do we know if the old man was illegal? I’ll bet this is not the only time he has been convicted for other reasons. What a big-time loser.”

(There were only a few comments like this one.)
“I'm keeping Little Michael and his family in my thoughts and prayers, praying for a miracle. I also pray for the elderly driver in the van. I can't imagine how he is feeling at this time either. If there's anything we can do to help Michael and his family -- we're here for you.”

(Someone's response)
“Your thoughts are wonderful, but didn’t you read the article? 2/3's of the child's brain isn't functioning anymore, and he’s on life support. I don't at all mean to sound cold or harsh, but get real, he isn't coming out of this, okay?”

(And this comment from a member of the little boy’s family.)
“Please! Please!! This is not the place or time to be talking about if they should have him in a car seat or what they should have done. His parents know what they should have done and they are devastated. They don’t need to read this stuff. If you don't have anything nice to say out of respect to our family and Michael, who is very critical, then please keep your comments to yourself. Thank you....”

(Followed by this "heartfelt" response)
“For those who say lay off the negative comments ‘cause everyone in the family feels like crap, well they should feel like crap!”

Maybe I’ve misjudged the extent that evil has crept into the world, but I expected most of the comments to support this family and the elderly driver in their time of need. Don’t get me wrong -- I’m not saying that car seats aren’t important and that it isn’t wrong to drive without a license, but this forum was not the place to discuss it while the little boy was on life support in a local hospital. Where is compassion anymore? I’m not a fan of censorship, but I do wish that the newspaper had closed comments out of respect to this dear little boy and his family. May he rest safely in Jesus’ arms.
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." John 8: 1-11


Jamie said...

I am so very sorry for all affected by this tragedy. I will be praying for all.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jean -

Oh, how sad! Everyone makes mistakes, some with devastating consequences. There must be room for forgiveness and mercy.


Robin said... heart is aching just reading all of this.
I truly feel a bit of sadness mixed with fear for those who judged so harshly...might as well draw a target on their heads.
After last week on my blog when so many, including yourself, stepped up to give me and my little family so much love and support I have hope that there are those people out there that freely give mercy in a time of need..
love to you my friend.

Jean Fischer said...

I'm praying for them, too, Jaime. Thanks for stopping by the blog.

Jean Fischer said...

Sorry for misspelling your name JAMIE. My fingers were flying too fast :-)

Jean Fischer said...

I agree, Susan, and this family certainly deserves mercy.

Blessings to you, too.

Jean Fischer said...

Thanks for stopping by, Robin. There are many good people out there, you're right. I pray that this family was blessed by them in their time of need.

Love to you, too, my friend.

quietspirit said...

A friend and I were talking just last night. A lot of what we see-people being mean to one another,the financial downslide of our nation, the moral downslide,as well are all talked about in the Bible.
I will add this circumstance to my prayer list.

Jean Fischer said...

That's interesting, quietspirit. I had a similar conversation with a friend over the weekend.

Thanks for your comment!

Dee said...

Why would anyone feel the need to even post the obvious to the editor is bumfuzzling. As if the family didn't already know that it was a mistake to have the child without a if the driver of the van didn't already know the devastation he/she caused by the accident, which could have happened whether or not the driver had a license, by the way. I agree with you that it was cold and heartless of folks to take the role of judge upon themselves and voice their disgust with the mistakes of the people involved in this accident. They miss the big picture...the little boy was critically injured...hearts were broken...guilt was felt all around. I am probably strange, but I think it was the Lord's desire to take this little boy at this time...if not so, he would have lived. Even in the most dreadful times of life, God has a message, a lesson, that we can learn. Through your post, may one of those lessons be the reminder that we all need to be compassionate.

Jean Fischer said...

I agree with you, Dee. The Lord has a time for every purpose.


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