Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mall goers watch woman burn, take photos

Our wonderful savior wrote the bible through men and He told us in Matthew 24:12 that in the time of the end, "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold."

Did you ever start a job somewhere awful and the senior workers tell you, "ah, eventually you get used to it." It seems that we adjust to external conditions and that includes getting used to just about anything. But what we have become used to in these last days includes a cold-heartedness that defies the imagination of even the elders in the generation just prior to us, I would think. I came across this news piece today:

"Photos Of Burning Woman Signal Underlying Problem
Cecilia Casals is in critical condition after purposely setting herself on fire at the Mall of the Americas. What is more shocking is that many people stopped and took pictures of her burning body instead of helping."

What would prompt people to line the walkway and whip out their cell phones and photograph a woman in her agony? What would cause people to endanger the people in the mall and perhaps even the children of the people standing around taking photos close to the fire? And what do they plan to do with those photos? Put them in an album and say years later to the grand-kids, "Look, a woman was dying and I stopped to take a picture"?

A psychiatrist was interviewed in this news article, asked why people would do this, and he responded that he "believes your exposure to violence, whether in sports, violent reality TV or even the CBS4 newscast all plays a role in desensitizing our natural reactions." Yet even the news article headline seeks to find an answer to the cold-heartedness of the scene. Even the jaded reporters, people who are 'desensitized' to violent scenes, asked, "why?"

Desensitization. In other words, love grows cold. Jesus told us. One man did break the fire extinguisher case's glass case with his hand, cutting it badly, but used the device to put the fire on the woman out. The article goes on, "'You have a lot of violent events that occur that maybe make folks in those urban cores a little more immunized to it," this psychiatrist said. "Which means Torres isn't just a hero for putting this fire out, he's a rarity."

A man acting humanely is a "rarity." But we knew this would happen. We were told. The amazing mercy of our Lord comes into play here. He gave us a Word that shows His character, all of it. This Word tells us about ourselves (we are sinners). This Word is outside of time and balances in perfect cohesion from book to book, chapter to chapter, century to century. And most amazingly of all, this Word, this incredible gift of His word, tells us what will happen. The love for one another has grown cold, but we should not be surprised. We were told.

Pray for peoples' hearts to be softened, just a bit, enough to allow the Word to be planted there by a witness, a missionary, a circumstance. Though love has grown cold, the Word can and will warm it up, if they have but eyes to see and ears to hear. Pray for that. Please. Or those who stopped to photograph and watch this woman burn ... will themselves burn. And they will have an eternity remember the love they should have had.

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