Reality bites

I know, I know: two posts, one day. Stop the presses. (The following post may be disturbing…)

What’s occupying my time this week is particularly tragic: a toddler, dead at the hands of a parent.  We only finished with jury selection and opening arguments. The hours of selection gave me plenty of time to feel really bad for the potential jurors.

The court pulled in about 79 people, interrupting their daily routines of dropping kids off at school, running errands, sitting in board meetings, whatever. They get a questionnaire in the mail, do their civic duty and  fill it out. They send it in and their number gets pulled.With a pretty busy court system, the odds were good for those poor souls they’d end up hearing a garden-variety burglary case or something. But what is it they get? Oh, they get the lady who stored her dead child’s body in a plastic tote. The 14 good citizens picked (two alternates), they’re going to get autopsy photos and tearful testimony. They’re going to get a crap-ton of the kind of stuff that makes cops divorce their wives, turn  lawyers into miserable people and lead journalists to drink too much. Hey, citizens, thanks for playing!

As the attorneys worked their way through the jury pool, I started reading a new book: The Living God, a Catechism. (Church nerd…)

In the catechism, the author reminds me of this great gulf created between God and man, that thing that We Did. We chose to know That which we were not supposed to Know.  We thought we could handle it. So Adam’s eyes were opened, not just to his own nakedness, but to a world gone all pear-shaped, a world full of sorrow and pain. He knows, now. We all know now.

So into this world we come, like those poor jurors. The cold hard reality of our situation should hit us full force every day, like a stream of water straight from the garden hose. We live in a world now of autopsy photos and plastic storage tubs. And no amount of busying ourselves can separate us from that. Like Cain, we wander in a world gone mad.

It is exhausting. I wish I could un-know sometimes, OK all the time. I am sure there are people who can un-see the things they see. I am not that girl. I can close my eyes and conjure up dozens of horrific photographs, hear terrible stories and watch awful scenes. And there are so many people who see so much more than I. Maybe we all risk our salvation to tell these stories, I don’t know.

This mess is not the world He envisioned for us. We did this. It’s all on us.

(unrelated, congrats to me on 100th post)


Author: Rebecca

Orthodox Christian. Journalist. SAR K9 handler. All three of those are deeply related.

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