I have shared with you several times about the ladies in our Wednesday morning Bible class, where I continue to be its youngest member; and, because I volunteered to fill in for a few weeks three years ago, also its teacher. I’m thankful for that quick offer after church one Sunday morning, because being with these wise and experienced women is one of my favorite blessings.
Our topic yesterday was Romans 12. We got stuck when we got to verse nine, a verse I shared with you on Monday: “Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.” The ladies began to share with me a story they have been following on the Nashville news. I don’t watch the “if it bleeds, it leads” Nashville news and was completely ignorant of the story. Sadly, just as has happened at universities elsewhere, in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 23, 2013, a female student at Vanderbilt University in Nashville was a victim of gang rape. The case against two of the accused came to trial a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday those two young men were found guilty. Others await trial.
Evidently a lot of drinking was going on that Saturday night. Before morning, horrible things had happened. There is no doubt that it happened. One of the boys took photos and video on his cellphone! The jury only had to decide if these two men were responsible for what they had obviously done.
When I got home, I looked up the story so that I could be accurate in what I shared with you. One of the young men defended himself by blaming the culture of the college campus. The other one blamed being drunk. He said that he would never have done those things if he hadn’t been drunk.
The online article in the Nashville Tennessean told of the mother, uncles, and cousins who broke out in sobs when the jury’s foreman read guilty verdicts on all counts against their son, nephew, and cousin. The photo at the top of the article was of the second young man looking over at his crying parents.
When class was over, I was sorry about the hard things we had talked about. Just as when I share with you, I like to be encouraging. I quickly tried to think of a way to end the class on a positive note. I encouraged the ladies to think about the last half of verse nine: “Cling to what is good.” Those young people could have been doing something very different on that Saturday night. College campuses have Bible studies. They have service projects. People in need could have been served that night. Those kids could have been clinging to what is good.
We may think of the destroyed lives resulting from thirty minutes in a Vanderbilt dorm room. But, we all know it wasn’t just that thirty minutes. Many decisions led up to what happened then, many bad decisions. I reminded the ladies of the profound words of the little children’s song I also shared with you recently. If only those young people had remembered: Be careful little eyes what you see, little ears what you hear, little hands what you do, and little feet where you go.
I remember a song we used to sing with children many years ago. One side of the room sang, “Whose side are you living on?” The other answered, “I’m living on the Lord’s side.” Keep up the good work, Mamas. Teach your children to live on the Lord’s side and to have no fear when the Lord watches them, because they are clinging what is good.
The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
Watching the evil and the good.