Final Words for Ariel Castro

It is easy to rejoice in the death of a monster. It is easy to see Ariel Castro’s suicide as the final word on the life of an evil man.

But is that enough?

I don’t think so.

I think I must grieve.

Grieve for his countless victims.
Grieve for the irreparable harm of his years of sin.
Grieve for broken justice, in this case blind for too long.

Grieve because he was once a baby whose life, like all small humans, was once so full of potential…

Grieve because all he did to hurt, disfigure, and destroy was his choice.

And he could have chosen light instead.

About Pain

Most people have run across CS Lewis’ quote about pain being God’s megaphone. We are risk averse. We don’t really even like to think about pain.

I dropped a roll of (heavy) butcher paper on my big toe. Dumb, I know. The pain was and is intense, binding.

It derailed my plans for a run. This in itself is a sticky issue. Exercise, especially running is my go-to, no-guilt stress reducer. If I could I would eat a lot of chocolate and drink vodka gimlets, but to paraphrase Tobias Funke–I don’t need the calories.

I guess I didn’t need the run.

The truth is my big toe was already a wounded soldier–bunioned, afflicted with frequent stubs, not helped by my penchant for running barefoot and in Chacos. That poor toe was already punished.

I am not really that fixated on my toe. I am fixated on why?

I know God well enough to trust that my clumsy accident is no accident at all. He has stuff for me in the midst of pain. Things like:

Wound care. I wiki toe breaks. Importune my doctor husband. Follow his advice…

Pain management. I take the ibuprofen with alacrity and gratitude. It just takes the edge off. Same with the ice…

Change plans. No run is a bummer. But this also means a real change in my dazzling and exciting plans to work on the exterior trim of our house. I went from looking forward to tackling the high places to envisioning myself doing most of the yard-and-under edges.

The little things. As I said, I was already neglecting this toe. Now I am not. I am grateful for all the thankless weight-bearing it does and very aware of how much I need my big toes.

Need. I am also going to need more help. My kids will have to be my team–helping with all the not-so-fun cleaning jobs.

Empathy.. Most of all I am aware that my small intense pain is nothing compared to the people I pray for–friends battling cancer, families missing loved ones, prisoners in terrible places, women whose lives have been stolen by…it is too easy to say monster.. Too easy to pile a decade of individual blows–each one vicious and deadly into a lump sum.

I would prefer to separate each into a blow of such force that to minimize or forget is to be less human, less alive.

Let us face these terrible things together, these monstrous griefs.