On the evening of December 6, 2014, Jessica Chambers was found walking away from her burning vehicle, 98% of her body covered with burns, horrifically lit on fire by a still unknown assailant. As a father myself, I couldn’t begin to imagine what her father, Ben Chambers, is going through. He understandably expressed his desire for justice when he said, “To the person that done this: They’re coming for you. They’re working day and night, day and night, away from their own families… I promise as long as I have breath in me, I can talk to people and make sure they’re not comfortable in there.” As someone who works for the Panola County Sheriff’s Department, he is quite possibly in a position to make good on his promise, and I truly hope he does.
However, while we all sincerely hope the perpetrator is found quickly and pays for his crimes – and it does seem like in this case there are enough clues for authorities to eventually come to the conclusion of their investigation and make an arrest – the possibility does exist that he may never be found. After all, in the US alone every single year 6,000 killers literally get away with murder. That means there are thousands of people living their lives, working their jobs, running their businesses, going to restaurants, shopping at stores, thousands of killers who have, to this point, ‘gotten away with murder’ walking among us every day. They are selling our children drugs and committing other crimes that could eventually get them locked up (aka OJ Simpson), but they are also waiting on our tables, cooking our food, bagging our groceries, and, for all we know, may even be teaching our kids or doing our taxes!
That bothers me. The thought of someone doing something as horrific as lighting someone on fire and getting away with it pains me to my deepest being. I am not alone, of course. There is an intense desire, a longing, for justice in all of us, or at least those of us who are normal, red-blooded, functioning human beings. There is, in my head at least, a visual image of Lady Justice holding her scales. These days, more and more, the scales seem to be tipping in the wrong direction. I am all for protecting the rights of the accused, but it angers me when someone who is obviously guilty gets off on a technicality. It bothers me when juries vote on passion, politics, and political correctness instead of the evidence and either lock up the innocent or free the guilty.
I realize humans aren’t perfect and that my own or others’ perception of events may be incorrect, but even perceived lack of justice is deeply disturbing. Right or wrong, many of Ferguson’s demonstrators marched because of their perception of a flawed system of justice. We may not all share the same view of the events of that day, but one thing we do share is our desire for what is wrong to be made right.
Sadly we know, ultimately, that nothing on this fallen planet can ever be settled perfectly. We are all flawed humans, after all, and so are the systems we create. And even in the cases where perpetrators are caught and meted exactly what society believes they deserve, we know that in this world the pain will never end for the families affected by these tragedies. The best we can do for them is some form of closure.
And yet, thankfully, there is hope. This December 25 we celebrate the birth of someone sent to do exactly what we all deeply long for, to set a fallen, upside down world back in place. Turns out, God’s desire for justice is even more passionate than our own, and it’s absolutely perfect. The hope that, through His Son, all that is so horrifically wrong will someday be made right is the inspiration for those who celebrate Christ’s birth and long for His eventual return.
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new… – Revelation 21:5
This post represents the author’s opinion, not necessarily that of the ownership and staff of AtWork Personnel.