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Jerry Sandusky

There have been so many articles written regarding Gerald (Jerry) Sandusky, the former Penn State University football coach who was found guilty of sexual abuse, that I hesitate to put my two cents worth into the discussion.

However, what I find lacking, except in very few instances, is discussion around how a Christian should react to Mr. Sandusky.

I haven’t found anyone, Christian or otherwise, who is not appalled by what has happened. Child abuse is such a horrible crime that I can’t wrap my brain around how anyone can abuse children. On this earth, we all look for justice as a means to punish the wrongs that society (people) commit and there is nothing wrong with that. What would our world look like if everyone was allowed to do as they pleased without any regard to the safety of others?

But what or who do I see when I look at Mr. Sandusky?

I am saddened to look at the face of this man whose inner thoughts or motives no one can possibly know — perhaps not even he can explain what happened. How does a person get to this point in their life? Was he in need of acceptance or power or did he have a mental disorder?

I know people will ask why I am not first saddened by what has happened to the victims — children at the time of the abuse. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying here. I am deeply saddened and troubled by what the victims have had to go through. But if Mr. Sandusky weren’t “defective” there would have been no victims.

And here is where I think the majority of people, including Christians, err in their thinking.

We are all defective. We like to think we are better than others but in reality we are not. I know no person who is perfect. The list of vices that we humans have is innumerable, i.e. cheating, gossiping, murder, rape, lust, lying, stealing, coveting, selfishness, etc.

Does my vice or defectiveness equal that of a child molester’s? Whose in charge of ranking the morality of society? Me? You? The government? The church?

As a Christian, I accept that I am a sinner along with everyone else in the world. What I am offered through the death of Christ is forgiveness of my sins, mercy, kindness and acceptance as a child of the Creator of the universe. I don’t take this gift lightly.

So how I view and treat my fellow travelers on this earth is important. I have to be able to impart the same gift to others that I have been given and have accepted. Is it easy? Absolutely not. I am prone to look at the actions of people since I cannot read their hearts.

I can’t read Mr. Sandusky’s heart — only God can so only He will be able to give true pardon or justice as He sees fit.

What I do know is that Mr. Sandusky, if he wants it, is offered the same gift that I am. And since I am a child of the God who provides that gift, I have to be able (through His strength) to offer it to my fellow travelers on this earth — including Mr. Sandusky.

I have had to forgive my own predators and place them in God’s hands for redemption.

So much heartache has been caused by Mr. Sandusky’s actions and lives will never be the same.

But dear reader, as we look at what is happening around us in the world, let us reflect on how our own thoughts and actions affect the people we rub shoulders with every day. Let us remember that we too have the power to lift up or tear down the lives of people around us. Like an old poem says “drop a pebble in the water, in a splash it is gone but there are hundreds little ripples circling on and on and on.”

May my, and your, influence build up and not tear down. And may God have mercy on us all as we travel in this pain-filled world.

Drop A Pebble In the Water

Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash and it is gone
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on
Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea
And there’s no way of telling where the end is going to be.

Drop a pebble in the water: in a minute you forget
But there’s little waves a-flowing, and there’s ripples circling yet
And those little waves a-flowing to a great big wave have grown
You’ve disturbed a mighty river just by dropping in a stone

Drop an unkind work, or careless: in a minute it is gone
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on
They keep spreading, spreading, spreading from the center as they go
And there is no way to stop them once you’ve started them to flow

Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute you forget
But there’s little waves a-flowing and there’s ripples circling yet
And perhaps in some sad heart a mighty wave of tears you’ve stirred
And disturbed a life was happy ere you dropped that unkind word

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: just a flash and it is gone
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on
Bearing hope and joy and comfort on each splashing, dashing wave
Till you wouldn’t believe the volume of the one kind word you gave

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: in a minute you forget
But there’s gladness still a-swelling and there’s joy a-circling yet
And you’ve rolled a wave of comfort whose sweet music can be heard
Over miles and miles of water just by dropping one kind word

 

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