One of my favorite books is Child of God by Cormac McCarthy. I'll warn you - it is one of the most disturbing books I've ever read - it is about a gruesome serial rapist and the sordid details of his life and crimes, but in this book, McCarthy makes the point that this rapist is also a "child of God" just like the rest of us. He is despicable, but he is human. He is a human who lost his way.
How hard would it be for any of us to lose our way?
In the last two days I have asked myself that question over, and over, and over again. What spurred this internal debate was the news story about four young adults who tortured a mentally disabled, eighteen-year-old boy live on Facebook.
The boy must have felt so scared, so alone, so tortured. Racism is not his fault. Trump is not his fault. His torturers problems were not his fault, but he was beaten, and cut, and shamed. This is not what haunts me, though.
The boy's torturers were pure evil in a video. I cannot imagine how angry one must get to perform such a violent platform for the world to see. Their act was truly sinister. This is not what haunts me, though.
The police found the boy alone and confused wandering the streets of Chicago. I imagine myself driving on the west side of Chicago. I imagine myself seeing a boy wandering aimlessly. I imagine thinking that he looks scuffed, and hurt, and confused. I imagine myself driving away. This is what haunts me.
It haunts me that I would not take the time to be kind to a boy who desperately needed my kindness.
I know that this has nothing to do with sports, or The Bachelor, or anything that I usually blog about, but I had to write about it. I had to encourage myself to write about kindness. I had to write about my need to put "be kind" at the top of my resolution list. This post is really about me. It's about what haunts me. But, I wanted to include you. I wanted to include you because kindness grows in community.
Friend, I will leave you with this.
In other words - let's be nice. Jesus said so.