Saturday, September 28, 2013

Death of a Child

A 5-year-old child died in our community yesterday. He was attacked by a dog – a family pet, no less. It was a horrible death, one that is reverberating through our little town.

I can’t imagine the terror of the little boy; or the horror and grief of his parents and relatives; or the horror and terror of the two children who witnessed the attack.

I can’t imagine the guilt and grief of the woman who owned the dog. She had children of her own – four, I think – so she surely was not expecting that the dog would turn on anyone else’s child.

And I find myself wondering if the child was baptized. Even if not, he was below the age of reason, and so there is a place for him close to God with other unbaptized children who die.

For many tragedies, I can philosophize a bit about what good might come of the event. I can remember that God has a plan, and whatever the tragedy might be, it is part of that plan; it is something that God allowed. I must admit, though, that this one is tough for me. It is hard to see good coming from it. It is hard to fathom why God would allow an innocent little child to die in the jaws of a dog. And yet, He did just that.

Of course, He is God, and so there is no reason why I should be able to fathom His ways.

Besides, in the midst of it, what keeps coming back to my mind is the fact that every single day, thousands of little unborn babies have their limbs ripped off, and suffer death – not in the grip of some frenzied animal, but at the hands of a human being who has been explicitly hired by the mother (or some other person) to do that horrible deed. And while many people are horrified by the death of the little boy who died in the dog attack, many still think abortion is okay, no big deal, the "right" of the mother.

God allows abortion, I guess, because he allows us to have free will. And free will means being able to choose to do the wicked, evil deeds over the good ones. Death by any accident – dog attack, car wreck, drowning – also often involves a choice, I suppose…whether to keep a pit bull as a pet, whether to drive a little too fast, whether to let your child go in the water without a life vest…whatever. And with accidents, sometimes it does seem like all the right choices were made, and the tragedy still occurred.

In reality, there is not much difference between death by dog and death by abortion, in the sense of the horribleness of each. Both are equally horrific. Death by abortion happens much more often, of course.  And it’s an active “choice”, not an accident, like the dog attack.

I weep for them all.

The world…sin…redemption. Thanks be to God that he sent his Son to save us.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

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