Last week the bludgeoned body of Christopher Pineda was found in the Cal-Sag Channel. Since my daughter knows one of his cousins we followed the story with interest. He was not a gang banger or a trouble maker. He was a good student and would soon have been the first in his Guatemalan immigrant family to graduate from high school. It seems Chris was the victim of a senseless violent attack by a street gang, probably based upon his ethnicity. He was in the wrong neighborhood at the wrong time.
As I let that tragedy sink in I began to weep. I tried to imagine the pain his mother must be experiencing. She waited all week for Christopher to come home without sleep only to learn he would never be home again. Through my tears I heard God’s words speak into my heart, “I too experienced the tragic abusive death of my son. No one feels the pain of that mother with as much understanding as I do. You weep because you feel my heart. I grieve over the injustice in the world.”
And so, we weep. We weep for the sons and daughters whose lives are cut short. We weep for the mothers who cannot feed their children. We weep for the fatherless child, the abandoned baby, the children hit by stray bullets, the victims of hatred and oppression and racism, the uneducated, the unemployed, the unloved. And as we weep we feel the heart of God who, out of love, sent his son to suffer and die in order dismantle the abusers of power and show us the way of humility and service. We long for the day when justice will flow down like a river and righteousness like a never failing stream. (Amos 5:24) But for now, sometimes all we can do is weep.