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Sadness once again covers my soul as I think through the events last evening.  A legendary football coach whose entire career is now marred by the actions of one person.

Whether you agree or disagree with Penn State Board of Trustees, it is a sad, sad day in the world of college football.  I have listen and read the commentaries surrounding  “Joe Pa.”  My heart grieves.

I grieve for the children whose innocence was lost at the hands of  Jerry Sandusky.  A leader whom most boys and their families trusted and highly respected. I grieve for the families of the victims and the Sandusky family.  I grieve for Penn State and Joe Paterno.

It is not my place to “heaping burning coals” on Coach Paterno’s head.  I know without a doubt what I would have done if I had been in his situation and it wouldn’t have stopped with talking to my administration.  But I am not Joe. I am not and will never be a coach, let alone at the level he coached. So, I can’t begin to understand the chain of command or pressure Coach Paterno may have faced.  Outside of what little the media is reporting I don’t know the full extent or the truth of what Coach Paterno’s superiors said to him when he reported the allegations.

What I do know, this is a tragedy which holds true to the fact that “sin has a rippling effect.”  The sin of moral failure especially has waves that reach farther than even the abuser can control. Such is the case at Penn State.  Look at the victims in the wake of Sandusky’s abuse. The boys, their birth families, their families when they get to be adults.  Graduate Assistant McQuery and his family, who reported the incident to Coach Paterno.  The officials and their families at Penn State. Coach Paterno, his wife and their family. The students and athletes at Penn State. Victims, a long line of victims which obviously didn’t even begin to cross Sandusky’s mind when he chose to act.

Oh, I could stand in righteous indignation and vindication all day.  But at the end of the day, I have to ask ” What about my own failures and poor choices?”  While they certainly don’t include perpetrating on children, they none the less grieve my heavenly Father.

What has happened to us as a society? We are so quick to place blame and “throw stones” at those who have committed sexual sins.  Yet, we turn a blind eye to our own failures.

The story of the adulterous woman dragged into the town square about to be stoned to death, has always been one of my favorite stories of the bible. (See John 8: 3 – 11)  Why that story?  First, because Jesus calls out those who were judging her, second Jesus loves her instead of condemns her and finally, He restores her to the beautiful child of God she was destined to be.  Whoot! Whoot! 🙂

Seems for the most part, society would rather throw stones than allow the judging to be done by the High Priest. (Which isn’t any one of us or those who enforces the laws of our land.)  Our High Priest sets at the right hand of God the Father.  When all is said and done each one of us, regardless of the extent of our failures and poor decision will have to stand before Him.  Give an account for what we have or haven’t done and face the consequences for the choices we have made.

I have no idea what Joe Pa’s personal beliefs are.  However, I have watched the news coverage and listened to his heart as he addressed those outside his home last evening.  His heart is breaking! I believe his statements last evening revealed a bit of what my Jesus would have done.  Joe Pa chose to keep his stones in his pocket.  Even though just fired from his position, he respected the Board of Trustees of his beloved school when he said,  “A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed.  I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, its property and all that we value.”

Yes, it is a sad, sad day for those caught in the wake of Sandusky’s moral failures.  In fact, it is a sad day for everyone.  We as a society can no longer ignore these perilous times are destroying our moral fiber.  My next post will be on the lessons we need to learn from the Sandusky scandal.

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