Monday, August 28, 2006

Sad News Must Be Met with Holy Resolve

Last Thursday, I asked for prayers that Marcus Fiesel, a developmentally-delayed three year old, would be found. Just this afternoon, we have learned that well before then, the little boy was dead.

His foster parents, who, it turns out, have been living not far from me, have been charged with involuntary manslaughter. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports:
Liz and David Carroll Jr. were charged today with involuntary manslaughter in the death of foster child Marcus Fiesel, whom they reported missing Aug. 15.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said the Carrolls left the 3-year-old "restrained" in a closet in their Union Township Clermont County home while they went to a family reunion in Kentucky on Aug. 4. Investigators believe he was dead when they got home two days later.

David Carroll is accused of then taking the boy's body to Brown County and burning it. Marcus' remains have not been found.

Other family members knew about the death and helped cover it up, Deters said.

"We believe everyone was aware, everyone covered up. The press conference that they held was part of the cover-up," Deters said, who added that the Carrolls did not confess. "They lied to the bitter end."
If these charges prove to be true, what can we say in the face of such evil? How do we explain such horrors and how an entire family could conspire to conceal them?

We can say that human beings are disposed to evil, a result from our distance from God. We can also say that some are so given over to evil that they enter conspiracies, even against little ones.

In the Old Testament, the Psalmist lamented:
1 Hear me, O God, as I voice my complaint;
protect my life from the threat of the enemy.

2 Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,
from that noisy crowd of evildoers.

3 They sharpen their tongues like swords
and aim their words like deadly arrows.

4 They shoot from ambush at the innocent man;
they shoot at him suddenly, without fear.

5 They encourage each other in evil plans,
they talk about hiding their snares;
they say, "Who will see them [a] ?"

6 They plot injustice and say,
"We have devised a perfect plan!"
Surely the mind and heart of man are cunning. (Psalm 64:1-6)
Speaking for myself, this horrible event incites three responses:
First: I will pray more for our community more, asking God to open hardened hearts to Jesus Christ. Christ can transform people from monsters to human beings. Whether the allegations against the Carrolls are true or not, others in your community and mine could engage in such plotting against defenseless children. When minds, wills, and hearts come under the Lordship of the Prince of peace, such monstrousness as is alleged here is unthinkable.

Second: I will ask God to give me greater dedication and strength to share Christ with everyone. Again, people under the Lordship of Jesus, though not perfect, are filled with His love and can tap into the self-control that goes with being a loved and loving child of God.

Third: I will pray that God will encircle our entire community with His protection. I urge you to pray for every child in our community, asking God to protect them spiritually, physically, emotionally, and relationally. Pray this especially as our schools begin their new years. Ask that every student, teacher, adminstrator, and staffer will have wills opened to Christ, that Christ will go to them to love them and guide them, and that our schools will be places of safety. Invite God to be the Lord of everyone and everything in our community!

Fourth: I will pray that if the Carrolls are proven guilty, that they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Even if the Carrolls and their co-conspirators repent for the sins they're alleged to have perpetrated against Marcus, they have also allegedly violated the law, an instrument God has given whereby the rest of society is protected from those unwilling to voluntarily love God and love neighbor under the Lordship of Christ. (I explain here how Christians regard governments, laws, and police power.)
In the face of such evil, a renewed dependence on the God we know through Jesus Christ is our only hope!

Another of the Psalms declares:
The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble. (Psalm 37:39)
Now is a good time for us to come to the Lord and ask Him in the Name of Jesus Christ to turn us and our whole community to Him and His ways!

I'm sure that Marcus has been welcomed into eternity by Jesus Christ, the Savior of mercy who told the disciples to let the little children come to Him. But I hope that we Christians will redouble our efforts to pray for our communities and to share Christ with our communities, inviting others to follow Jesus, so that what happened to Marcus need not happen to other children!

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