By now you’ve heard the news that Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight have been found alive, apparently kidnapped and held for years as prisoners inside a house on Cleveland’s West Side.
Understandably the reaction from the public-at-large has been one of rejoicing. These women were believed to be dead. Abducted. Likely murdered. Shouts of praise were offered up as word of the women captives set free went viral:
My God is MIGHTY DO U HEAR ME MIGHTY IM IN TEARS ! Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus are alive! God hears OUR prayers people..he hears our prayers! We can change the world through PRAYER!
Holy Cow! Didn’t think it could be possible. Congrats to Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus families for never giving up on their missing daughters. Your prayers have come true. Your babies are coming home…alive! Proof that miracles do exist. God Bless them!
Three young girls abducted and held captive for a decade or more before one of them fights her way to freedom, and thereby earns it for all is proof that miracles exist?
This story is a lot of things, but what it is not is proof of miracles. Nor is it, as many have suggested, proof that God is good.
God is good.
But God’s goodness is not revealed in a story where three women are abducted and held captive in their very own community right here in AMERICA: LAND OF THE FREE.
This isn’t a story about the character of God at all.
It’s a story about our character.
It’s a story that provides proof positive to anyone with eyes to see that EVIL exists.
It is right ‘cher, in our very own neighborhoods, behind the closed doors and apparently boarded-up, blacked-out windows.
This story is about us.
It is about how we fail to see what is right in front of us, day in and day out.
It is a story about deceit.
It is a story about abetting.
It is a story about how little we really know each other.
It is likely a story about failures by law enforcement.
It is a story about social class divides.
It is a story about money.
It is a story about marginalization.
It is a story about broken families.
It is a story about broken hearts.
It is a story about imprisonment.
It is likely a story of rape and sex abuse.
It is a story about the justification of evil.
It is a story about assumptions.
It is a story about perversions.
It is a story of abandonment.
It is a story of extreme loneliness.
It is a story of isolation.
It is a story about individualism.
It is a story about the subjugation of others.
It is a story of delusions.
It is a story of manipulation.
It is a story of fear.
It is a story of physical and emotional abuse.
It is a story of despair.
It is a story of wickedness.
It is a story of meanness.
And in the face of all that it is a story of one man who did the right thing. It is the story of what happens when just one person responds to a cry for help. It is the story of how lives are changed when one person chooses to do that right thing.
But it is not a story of miracles. And it is not a story about the goodness of God.
Don’t you know the entire time those young girls were held captive Jesus was on his knees praying to the heavens that one of us would do something to rescue them?
What we can all be thankful about is that a neighbor – Charles Ramsey – finally heard the cry for help and did the right thing.
Thank God Charles Ramsey is the kind of neighbor who cared enough to help.