June 25, 2001
Casting righteous stones?
The rain just keeps pouring down outside; a grey, dreary, dismal heaviness.The man whom some consider to be evil incarnate is now dead, killed at the hands of the government of the people, by the people and for the people.
I get my three teens ready for school, out the door. "Don't forget your lunch ‹ take a jacket; I'll see you after school."
The news drones on, wafting in and out of my awareness, experts and public officials weighing in with their commentary on the execution. I am saddened by the carrying out of this very legal, not-for-revenge-but-for-justice murder. My daughter observes that lethal injection is also the way we mercifully end the suffering of old, beloved but painfully, terminally infirm pets.
In this case, however, we are not ending anyone's suffering; we are trying to put him out of our misery. It will not work.
I am no fan of this man whose crime I will not glamorize by naming him yet again in public print.
I am conscious through every mundane act this morning that there are families whose children are no longer getting ready for school, forgetting lunches, dropping homework, and rushing out the door before their mothers can plant a goodbye kiss on a cheek.
Nineteen children will not grow up to be teenagers, stopped forever from enjoying mundane mornings, because of a bomb six years ago, extremist terrorism on peaceful home soil. Still other children, getting ready for school this morning, are without a mother or father (or both), an aunt or uncle or grandparent. I know their grief is not ended.
And the rain just keeps pouring down with dreary, dismal heaviness.
My friend Diana responds to my musings: This is the dreary rain that will moisten the seeds in the ground to give new life to the garden.
I believe the world may just be ever so slightly better without evil incarnate breathing. It is not better for the 19 children who will never have the chance to play in the rain, or the other 149 victims of Timothy McVeigh.
She is right about the rain. But evil still breathes in the world. The rain, which falls on the just and the unjust, waters the food and flowers in the garden, but also the weeds that would choke them out.
Ultimately, none of us is captain of our souls, nor masters of our fate beyond this earth: that, like vengeance, is for God alone.
Barbara Greenstreet, Carnation