A Letter to the Guilty

I was struck by a stranger’s assertion–a totally innocent person.

There are no totally innocent people. No one is that good. We ride our bicycles in the darkness without a light, go places and do things we simply should not. Not go. Not be. Not do.

It seems to me that putting two teenagers on display for a gruesome, heartless murder is a little like putting them into an ancient coliseum, only our lions are as digital as our judgement.

We say none of the things we should say. We are afraid of the truth. Simple, awful truth.

Truth: a young girl’s sexual partner can harm her. Irrevocably harm her.

Truth: there are great, tragic gaps in the story of Hae Min’s murder that should have been filled by adults–mentoring, listening, intervening, protecting.

People can be dangerous, prone to violence and heartbreak.


All our empty words cannot bring back the dead.

It is difficult for me to believe that Jay fabricated his story whole cloth. It makes more sense that he found himself trapped inside a story of violence and death and told parts of a terrible truth.

But “part of the truth” is not enough for any of us to survive. What we all need is naked truth, but naked truth is excoriating–tearing families, communities, faith, and assumptions.

Naked truth requires a Savior–

Our single and only Totally Innocent Man.

He died surrounded by the guilty

He died to pay for the last choking lonely terrible life of a girl who fell into the hands of violence.

He died for us, the broken.

Not just for the terrible secrets of two boys involved in a crime. But all of us as well.

All cries for justice and truth lead inexorably to the Cross…

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