It's amazing how a community tragedy can bring out the true colors of the people in that community.
No, this isn't a heartwarming tale of Cajun country bonding together to support its own. It's not a fairy tale about all that's "good" about humanity.
People are talking. But for many, it's not because they care. Many just want to be "in the know." People are speculating, and guessing, and demanding more information. Most of the cries for "more" come from people who, until a few days ago, couldn't even spell "Shunick."
If I didn't know any better, I'd think this whole community was talking about something they saw on "The Young and the Restless." To Mickey Shunick's family and friends, this is an unimaginable, horrific tragedy.
To many strangers, it's something interesting to gossip about at the water cooler at work. That alone should make you sick to your stomach.
But that's not the worst part of it.
Acadiana wants justice. I get that. I want justice, too. As human beings, we long for the good guys and the bad guys to all get what they deserve.
Or do we?
The cry from Acadiana residents reminds me of a mob with a similar mentality about 2.000 years ago. "Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" The circumstances were very different then - the mob crucified an innocent Man. But the mentality is the same. Can you hear it?
It's the mob that could be passing out flyers to help find Mickey Shunick, since they care about her so much. But they're on Facebook, speculating about a burnt truck, letting investigators know all that they did wrong, and providing their expert forensic analysis. Guess what? Watching "CSI" doesn't make you an expert.
It's the mob that says, "Hang that pervert!" Most of the members of that mob can't even tell you the guy's name. But the cries get louder, and nosy people with loud voices get caught up in the chorus. So the chorus gets louder and louder. More and more violent. "Crucify him! Crucify him! Crucify him!"
The reason we are innocent until proven guilty in America is to protect innocent people from that mob. Yeah, he's probably guilty. But what if he's not? Yeah, he has a history. You have a history, too.
Our hearts cry out for justice. And rightfully so.
But here's an important question each of us should ask ourselves today: What if God gives me justice? What if God gives you justice?
The Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor.The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds.But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him.And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die!And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.”Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!"2 Samuel 12
It's easy to look into another man's house and see all the "badness" in him, isn't it? Are we willing to look in the mirror, and use that same standard to judge ourselves?
I want justice, Acadiana. You want justice. It's right to be angry. It's right to want the right thing. It's right to want the "bad guys" to get what they deserve.
But, to the mob, I ask each of you: do you even know this guy's name? I don't. Before a month and a half ago, could you even spell "Shunick?"
Yet you yell at the top of your lungs, "Crucify him! Crucify him! Crucify him!"
You are that man, Lafayette. No, you may not have done the horrific things this guy has done. But you've got your own wickedness, deep inside your heart.
So do I.
I can prove it, in under a minute. Ready?
Imagine that I have a camera that can see every thought inside your brain. Now imagine that I turn that camera on, recording everything that runs through your mind for a week. Then, I gather all of your loved ones and closest friends into the living room for movie night.
There, on the television screen, displays every thought in your mind, one by one. Every happy thought. Every generous thought. Every charitable thought.
But then, the music becomes louder and more dramatic. Like all those predictable horror movies you've seen, you know what's coming next when you hear that music.
Your heart thumps through your chest, as the screen flashes things you thought no one would ever see. Every vengeful thought. Every hateful thought. Every hurtful thought. Every lustful thought. Every angry thought.
Now, it's getting personal, isn't it? All of your family and friends cannot believe their eyes.
How does that popcorn taste?
You wouldn't last 5 minutes in that room. You'd run as fast as you could to get away.
Look in the mirror, Lafayette. Don't compare yourself to this guy and think you're sparkly white. You and I are dirty, filthy, and rotten to the core. That's reality. The sooner you understand that, the sooner you'll flee to the only water potent enough to wash your filth away - Jesus Christ.
When you repent and place your trust in Jesus, he washes you clean and gives you a new heart. Until then, you're exactly what's showing on that television screen.
So cry out for justice, Lafayette. But be careful what you wish for. Because what if God gives you justice?
You are that man.