Yesterday the man who used to run the Philo Country Store shot his brother at his grocery store in Tolono. The brother died. It is so sad and horrible, it is hard to think about anything else.
Brian is just a regular guy - friendly, hard working, a little crude sometimes, but he was generous in helping out the Youth Group with a car wash on more than one occasion. He wasn't religious - in fact the only theological conversations we ever had concerned his good deeds "making points with the Big Guy". I feel pretty sure that that kind of thinking isn't going to be of much help to him as he tries to sort out what has happened now.
I wonder how his family - his parents and his wife and children - are going to cope. The future suddenly is very dark and torturous for all of them.
You know, the Presbyterian/Protestant/probably all Christian way of thinking SAYS that we are all sinners and that without God's help we are capable of terrible things. But I doubt if any of us really come to grips very often with the implications of that. We don't REALLY think of ourselves, day to day, as having evil lurking in our hearts. But then something like this happens and . . . here is a man who is not all that different than most of us, and he killed his brother.
We might try to come up with the ways that we are different from him - hoping to shut out the horror and distance ourselves from it. But I think we might learn more and maybe grow more as human beings if we admit that what happened is an indication of who we all are, at some level at least. And I'd hope that that recognition would redouble our reliance on God's grace and forgiveness in our lives.
I hope that Brian finds someone who can tell him about God better than I did. And I hope his family finds lots of Christian friends who can walk with them through the valley of the shadow of death.