The two most vilified words in the America today are Casey Anthony. They spark rage, frustration, shock, horror. And why not? They have become synonymous with the tragic death of a little child, probably just like the one Jesus placed on His knee as He taught those around Him about the Kingdom of Heaven. Many people believe that Ms. Anthony was the murderer, if not at least a cause in her daughter’s death. People look at her and believe that SHE should die, just like that little girl. One woman in Texas even followed another woman who looked like Casey Anthony and crashed into her car, injuring the look-alike. We exclaim that justice should be done, and “an eye for an eye,” and cry foul when the ends do not meet our expectations. We want JUSTICE, we say!
Is that true, though? Do we seek justice for Caylee, and punishment for the accused? Is justice even the right world for it? Justice is the “adminstration of what is just” from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. It is the result of the actions of a judge. And who is the judge for Casey Anthony? Are we?
Vengeance, on the other hand, is “punishment inflicted in retaliation for an injury or offense” (same source). Which one sounds more like us?
What has Casey Anthony done to us? Has she inflicted an injury to us? Or do we just find her offensive? Maybe that is it. We see the death of a child as an offense because it is so close to us. We all have children like Caylee in our lives. Little ones who are our sons or daughters, nephews, nieces, or children of our friends or family. We seek an outlet for our anger and we point to the one who SHOULD HAVE CARED FOR THE CHILD! That much is true. However, we are not the judges of Casey Anthony. And our anger is not just. It is a sin. We have sinned against Casey Anthony when we call for her head and spit venom on her.
Romans 14:10, “Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.”
And two chapters earlier, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'”
Let God be the judge of man, and Casey Anthony. He knows what is in her heart. And if she seeks the forgiveness of the Lord for her sins, whatever they may be, He will grant it to her. And He will grant the same to you, even when you sin in anger against your neighbor. Pull out Luther’s Small Catechism and read the Fifth and Ninth Commandments and their meanings. Seek the Lord and the forgiveness He brings in the Gospel. Remember that it applies to all, no matter the sin or the stain. Thanks be to God.