Sunday, September 19, 2010

"And he came to himself..."

One night while watching a documentary on MSNBC, it was about the DC Snipers. In October 2002, a man and 16 year old boy went on a shooting rampage that ended in the death of 10 people and wounding several innocent people.

The case worker of the young boy involved, spoke of how he had such a bad case of "lost identity" that he could not understand his accountability for the deaths of the people he had killed. He would say things like "I did what my father told me to do" and that he would do anything that he asked of him. He had lost all sense of who he really was. His sociopath state of mind was so merged with the older man, that every technique they tried to "seperate" the boy from the older man failed. That is until this determined case worker who was of Carribean descent as the boy, went back to his hometown in the Islands and tape recorded the boy's relatives. She asked his relatives to record their memories of the boy when he lived at home. The cousins, Aunts and Uncles begin to record their precious memories of what the boy was like growing up. Then one Aunt begin to sing what was the boy's favorite hymn "Great is thy Faithfulness"and did not stop until she had sung every verse.

The case worker took this tape back to the prison and played it for the boy. And this boy, who never showed any emotion of any kind, as he listened to the tape of these people who really loved him remind him of who he really was, his continence began to soften. Then the tape got to the part of his Aunt singing with her carribean accent "Great is Thy Faithfulness, Oh God my Father..." By the second verse he began singing along and by the end he wept for the first time in God only knows when.

After this session, this young man began to understand the magnitude of what he had done; that he must be accountable for the taking of innocent lives and all the pain and suffering he had caused. His case worker said "It was as if something BROKE within the boy and for the first time he remembered who he really was". He was also finally able to to say of the older man who was executed on November 2009, "I feel sorry for him because he went to his death not being sorry for what we had done.

When I think of this young man, that will spend the rest of his life in prison rightfully so for what he has done, I am reminded of the "the Lost Son" of Luke 15. Here was a man that did his thing so to speak in the world and when he had no place else to go, the Bible says on the 17 verse " And then he came to himself..."and he returned home to his father. The rest of the parable says his father took him in.

All of us at some point had or will have that moment when we will come to ourselves and remember who our true Father is. Sometimes even as a Christian we can become so sidetracked with the lies of this world as to who we really are. The lies that are whispered in our heads tells us that we are weak, we can't go on, give up, this is too hard, we can't make it and on and on! But when we allow the Lord to help us "come to ourselves", His Holy Spirit will remind of who we really are; we are more than conquerors, the joy of the Lord is our strength, we can do all things through Christ who gives us the strength, for His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses!

Today if you have some how "lost" your identity, cry out to Him to show you the way back to Him and He will remind you of who you really are.