It is not the quiet ones who go on to commit heinous crimes, it’s the dark ones.
After a crime such as a school shooting or the like, the neighbors and acquaintances are trotted out on TV saying they always wondered about this person. A phrase they usually use is that they were quiet.
I know quiet people who are just in a shell which needs a little cracking, they aren’t potential murderers, they’re just thinkers.
It is not the quiet ones who kill, it is the dark ones. A darkness of the heart so deep it can be seen in the eyes. Usually mistaken for pain, it is a festering rot which requires great and heroic effort by those around them to draw out.
What troubles me is the inability to describe this sin on the part of those around them. I would submit that the vast majority of those around actually did not see anything which concerned them too greatly, in the glare of the limelight however they speak with sagacity and deep import.
No one wants to be the idiot.
In contrast, a friend of mine told me he knew the murderer at the mall in Omaha. They grew up in the same neighborhood and while they were not friends, per se, they were acquaintances. He commented to me this boy was the darkest person he ever knew. That is an accurate assessment.
We don’t recognize the rot of sin because we’re all in it. A caring, loving individual would see the problem and it would be a true test of their care and love to seek to intervene in that life.
Those in a dark room don’t have the perspective to see how dark others are. As noted in the Bible:
He who fails to find Me, injures himself,
All who hate Me love death.
Proverbs 8:36 (ESV)
Now wait a minute, we say. The audacity of that claim is appalling. We know plenty of people who do not believe in God and yet are good people who would never kill or commit crimes like those we see around us.
But if God is life, and not just life, but Life. The epitome of vitality. The very essence of Being. Then to not know Him is to not know life. To not follow Him is to not follow life. And to not love Him is to not love life.
God does not accept ambivalence toward Himself.
Therefore, those who are around us living life as they feel they ought instead of how God directs are suffering from the same root condition as those who have killed without mercy.
Our responsibility to them is the same: we must show them Christ. Show them a way out of their lives of quiet (or in our modern world: hurried) desperation.
God’s responsibility is the same as well: accept repentance, shower mercy and grace, and when necessary, dispense judgment.