The word vacation in this case is far from the beach and beer filled thoughts you have on the first hearing of the word. This time it could not be any more serious and free of all amusement whatsoever.
The Penn State ruling is unprecedented for sure. The media will be talking about it for months even years to come. It is heartbreaking for a thousand reasons to have to even discuss such a thing and I do feel tremendous empathy for the students whose entire college careers were based on the football program and its reputation.
But I cannot argue. What was done and overlooked and in essence sanctioned is reprehensible, vile, disgraceful, and damnable. There is no penalty imaginable to “balance” what was done and the shameful way in which many responsible, or at the very least in a position to help stop what was being done, looked the other way.
The truth is these things never happen in a vacuum. The biggest outcries contain a sense of punishing those who had nothing to do with any of it and that isn’t justice. But what is justice if it doesn’t address the fallout of what happened? I mean what if Sandusky was a janitor at the school? Obviously it would have changed everything. But he wasn’t. He was a high profile powerful person who created a football empire and to whom much is given, much is required.
We all know what it’s like to deal with the fallout of “lower” profile people every day of our lives. Every day Joe and Jane have made horrific, disgraceful choices out of selfishness, vanity, pride, a warped sense of entitlement or ability to rationalize. And many of us pay the consequences for years and generations to come. Entire generations distrust people in power, politicians, priests, pastors, entire ministries coming to a screeching halt because of embezzlement, infidelity, child abuse, the list goes on. We have become weary of watching the people and efforts fall apart because of one or two people filling a need or giving up a sense of duty and commitment to the needs of the many.
And it all points, once again, to the cross of Christ. To the one act of the very Savior who gave up His all for us, to be broken and bleeding, poured out, pierced – for me, the worst of all sinners – to cover us all for generations to come. We know intrinsically somehow that true justice does not happen in a vacuum. It happens in waves, in small eruptions, in devastating explosions. It comes about quietly like a lamb but with the force of the strongest winds and shaking the earth and seas. Justice must do this to set it all back to right and center. Because we have fallen just that far. And we all must pay. At least for the time being.
My thoughts and prayers with the victims, their families, those suffering under the grief and shame, and may they all find the hope of the Gospel poured out on their heads in the days to come.
“In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” – Jesus