- A pregnant mother is brutally murdered in her suburban home, teeth fragments scattered around her room, blood puddling so that her toddler, left unharmed by the assailant, tracks crimson footprints through the house. The convicted killer: her husband.
- A woman is shot dead in her employer’s parking lot by the father of her children in the midst of a protracted custody battle that ends as a murder-suicide. Their children: orphaned.
- A young man is stabbed to death in his own apartment. Police arrest his live-in partner amid rumors of domestic abuse.
These are not random plot lines from an episode of CSI or, my personal favorite, The Closer.
These are real life tragedies involving flesh-and-blood people whose names and faces I knew. Not characters in a Hollywood drama. These were neighbors, fellow church members, co-workers.
No one ever expects to actually know somebody whose life ends in homicide. But what used to be the stuff of screenplays or page-turning novels has become the scenario of everyday life.
The people with whom we choose to enter into intimate relationship can alter the course of our lives for good or ill. The right relationships with the right people can be a blessing, life-giving. The wrong relationships with the wrong people in the wrong circumstances can be deadly.
How do we know which people can be trusted? We don’t. Ultimately, those who have a relationship with God, must choose to trust God. Through Jeremiah, the prophet, God said this:
“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?” He added: “I, the Lord, search the heart…”
Whatever else may be a mystery to you about God, know this:
- God loves you.
- God knows people. He sees what we cannot: their hearts.
- God wants you to live.
Now, be honest. Do you see yourself or someone you know living a plot line with the potential to end badly – in bruises, body bags, morgues?
Resolve to do something: To get help, To get out.
No one has to die. You can walk away. You can start over. God makes all things new.
* Are you in Wake County, NC and need safety, support, aware in a domestic violence situation? Interact offers a 24-hour crisis line: 866-291-0855 Toll-Free or visit http://www.interactofwake.org/