A different kind of Good Friday message
April 14, 2017
On February 22, first responders near Terre Haute received a 911 call at 3:55 a.m. concerning a child in cardiac arrest. When sheriffs arrived on the scene, what they found turned their stomachs and broke their hearts.
A 9-year-old boy named Cameron was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. According to police reports, Cameron weighed only 15 pounds. He was blind and suffered from cerebral palsy. And now his brief life of suffering was over. Investigators say he literally starved to death and that meth was found in his system.
Vigo County Sheriff Greg Ewing called it, “the most terrible thing I’ve seen in my life.” Dr. Roland Kohr, a forensic pathologist at Terre Haute Regional Hospital, examined Cameron’s body and told news station WTHI, “I’ve done over 6,000 autopsies in my career and this is one of the most disturbing I’ve ever done. Try to imagine a 9-year-old that obviously has some developmental problems and is not a normal height for a 9-year-old. Nevertheless, this child is so severely malnourished that the closest thing I can think of are the pictures from World War II concentration camps’ liberation. The bodies which were stacked like wood, that were literally skin and bones. This child looked like that.”
Criminal charges have been filed and justice will now take its course. Life will move on and the 9-year-old boy who weighed only 15 pounds will be forgotten by nearly everyone. It will be as if he never even really existed. Except that he did. And no person with one ounce of humanity can read of his tragic life without feeling heartache, anger, or repulsion.
Cameron’s death makes me ask: why did God allow this to happen? It’s the same question I ask about the millions of other kids, just like Cameron, only smaller and unnamed, who suffer unspeakably in their flicker of time on this earth. I don’t have that answer, although I know it is man’s depravity and fallenness that opened the door to such evil so very long ago.
What I do know is that Cameron’s life mattered just as much as mine, just as much as yours. I know this to be true because this month, when we reflect upon the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are in reality reflecting upon the pivotal point in all of human history when the God who made every one of us satisfied a debt we could never pay so that all who receive Him are adopted as His children forever. That’s how much we all matter to God.
The Camerons of this world-the poor, the lame, the blind and the unwanted – they all matter to the One who made us all. Even unto the point of death. Even when we can’t understand. Even when it breaks our hearts.
I don’t often write about situations like this, but on this Good Friday, in remembrance of a King who willingly laid down His life for me, I just had to try and put into words something that affirmed the dignity and worth of a boy named Cameron, the 9-year-old who weighed 15 pounds, the boy who mattered to the heart of God.
May you have a blessed Good Friday.