And the Angels Cried…
See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven…In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost. (Matthew 18:10)
It was Monday February 6, 2012. My work hours are flexible on Mondays so I don’t usually set my alarm. It’s nice to just wake up naturally sometimes, and that is a luxury I allow myself on Mondays. On this particular Monday however I did set my alarm because I had things I needed to get done. I got up at 6:30 A.M. and turned on the TV to watch the news with my husband while we drank our coffee. We normally watch the local news for 30 minutes and then Good Morning America which comes on at 7 A.M.
On this day Good Morning America came on with “Breaking News”. It wasn’t good news. It was sad and horrifying news. The story was about two little boys who had been in the news for the last couple of years. Their names are Charlie and Braden Powell. I don’t know this family personally, but I feel their pain. Their mother, Susan Powell went missing December 6, 2009 and has never been found. On the night she disappeared their father Scott Powell claimed to have taken the two little boys ages 2 and 4 at the time, camping. The strange thing about it was that it was winter and very cold. Many people, myself included, felt it rather odd that a father would take children that young on a camping trip in the deep cold of winter.
The “Breaking News” about the family was that Josh Powell had murdered his two little boys who were now aged 5 and 7. They had come to his house on Sunday for a visit. Their case worker had brought them and the plan was for her to stay and supervise the visit as was stipulated by the courts. They jumped out of the car excited to see their father and were several steps ahead of her. Josh opened the door for the boys and let them in. As the case worker arrived at the door it was shut in her face. She banged on the door but to no avail. She heard Josh say; Charlie I have a surprise for you. Minutes later she heard Braden cry out. She immediately called 911 and reported that she feared for the boy’s lives. She also reported that she smelled gasoline. As she hung up from talking with the emergency dispatcher the house exploded into flames. It was later determined that before he set the house ablaze, Josh attacked the boys with a hatchet. All three are now dead.
We hear of horrible crimes committed against children every day. They are often neglected and abused – sexually, emotionally and physically. They are abandoned, they are used and often sold for pornography and only God knows what other unspeakable crimes are committed against them, but this one upset me more than any other child abuse story I have ever heard.
Most abused children have been in that situation since birth. They don’t know any other kind of life. That doesn’t make it okay, but since they have never been loved, they don’t expect any better. These two little boys were loved. They were loved by their mother. They were loved by their grandparents, friends and relatives. They had a warm place to sleep at night. They had clean clothes to wear every day. They attended school and were loved by teachers and friends. By all outward appearances they were loved by their dad also. This makes what happened to them seem all the more sinister.
|An Angel for each child|
Charlie (7) and Braden (5) were beautiful children and seemingly well adjusted in spite of all they had been through. It is heartbreaking to picture the little boys all excited to see their dad and then imagine the horror on their faces and the fear in their hearts as they see him come at them with a hatchet. I ask myself the unthinkable; God where were you? Where were the angels assigned to those little boys? In the verse above from Matthew, Jesus Himself tells us that there are angels assigned to each child on earth and that they report back to God what they see. Why God? Why did you allow such an unthinkable crime against these helpless little boys?
I have been brought up in a Christian home. I have been taught that we never ask God “why”. We know that life is going to be sad and troubling at times. Jesus Himself tells us; in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33). God never in His Word promises us a rose garden. In fact He warns us that life here on earth will be filled with sorrow and pain. He doesn’t cause our pain and sorrow, but He does allow it at times and uses it for our good. He compares the hardships of this life to the discipline children receive from parents who love them. My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son (Hebrews 12:5,6). He uses the hardship and disappointments of life to make us stronger. He uses them to make us turn to Him for help. He uses them to make us realize that we need Him – that we are helpless and hopeless without him. In many instances He uses them to teach us a lesson. But still I can’t help but wonder… I don’t blame God and I am not angry with God, but I have prayed for God to help me understand.
Most of the sad and tragic things which happen in life are the result of accident or disease – things we have no control over. Life is fragile. It can go from happiness to heartbreak in a matter of seconds, but somehow it is easier to understand and accept a tragic accident or illness, simply because it is something out of our control. In spite of tragedy we know that God loves us and wants what is best for us. As Christians We know that through sorrow we will grow in our faith. We know that God has our best interest at heart.
What about this incident though? This was not caused by illness, or accident. It was a crime which was well planned, and thought out in detail. It was not a case of God disciplining His children whom He loved. It was evil and nothing evil comes from God.
In my search for information about this incident, I was led to a facebook page for Josh Powell. Every remark and comment on the page was of satanic origin. Every comment stated something to the effect; those two little demons got just what they deserved. They didn’t deserve to live. The world is better off without them… It sickened me and I quickly closed the page. I knew that I didn’t belong there and I didn’t want any part of it.
Several days later as I was going about my usual daily routine, it was like a light bulb suddenly came on in my head and I realized that I had been so busy trying to understand “how” and “why” that I missed what I was looking for. God had answered my prayer and I hadn’t even noticed. I didn’t recognize it as such at first because I was not spiritually tuned in to Him. I’m not sure exactly what kind of answer I expected, but it could be that I didn’t expect Him to reveal His answer to me at all.
Later I tried to go back to the page hoping to find out more, but I couldn’t find it. No matter what I typed into my computer the site would not come up. I believe that God led me to that page the first time to help me understand where this horrible crime had originated. I also believe it was God who prevented me from going back there because it was not a good place for me, or for anyone who was not of satan to be. What happened to Charlie and Braden was evil and it came from satan. Just as God is the source of all good in our lives, satan is the source of all evil.
God always answers the prayers of believers, but He may not always answer in the way we are expecting and He may not always give us the answer we want to hear. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective (James 5:16). Sometimes, like any good parent He may answer; that is something you don’t need to know right now, or His answer might be; you’re not ready to hear it yet, or this isn’t the right time and place. Sometimes He simply answers with a yes or no. He may allow us to see and know His answer or we may never know in our lifetime. I have to wonder how often God answers my prayers in a spiritual way and I miss out on the comfort He offers because I am tuned in to the world around me and don’t hear or feel His presence.
God didn’t tell me why He didn’t intervene for Charlie and Braden, but I didn’t expect Him to. I knew better than to even ask. I know that He certainly could have intervened and made the outcome different. He could have given the story a happy ending, but by faith I trust in His almighty wisdom, His ever present love, His all-knowing heart and mind and His all-powerful existence. He will punish those who caused this anguish. For we know him who said; It is mine to avenge; I will repay…It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:30,31)
Yes, on February 5, 2012, the angels in heaven were crying. They were crying in anguish because a heinous crime was committed against two precious little lambs whose lives were taken from them in an evil and violent way. My sincere hope is that God in His mercy took Charlie and Braden to be with Him, that they are wrapped in the security of His never ending love and that they are romping and playing in the warm “Son” shine of heaven.
|Jesus cried too|
God tells us in His Word that we are saved by Grace through Faith in His one and only Son. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God… Ephesians 2:8) I didn’t know Charlie and Braden personally. I don’t know if the adults in their lives taught them about their Savior, but children are not able to make their own choices about who they live with and what they believe. They, with trusting hearts believe what they are taught by those whom they love and respect. The words of Jesus, I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children (Matthew 11:25,26) offer much comfort in this respect.
Words of Jesus:
And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea… (Matthew 18:5,6)
|Pray for them|
Heavenly Father, we come to you today on behalf of the many children in the world who suffer at the hands of selfish, wicked and uncaring adults. Comfort them with your love. Help them to know in some way that they are loved by you and that they have a Savior who gave His life for them – who understands their suffering. Our children are precious gifts from you and they are our future. Help us to protect them Lord and grant all governing authorities the discernment to make good decisions regarding their care. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.