This week there was a really sad situation in our community. I won't delve into all the details of the incident, but I will say over the course of a week the best and worst in people really came out.
We live in the Volunteer state and that really showed. Something was announced and hundreds of people showed up. There was food and people to serve food. Folks showed up with resources from their own homes and pockets. A church and another building were open for most of the week. Volunteers came in droves for an entire week to help out. It wasn't just locals either. People came from other cities and even other states. Members of law enforcement, the fire department, and other agencies showed up every day. Many on their own time after working long shifts. These people took time away from their own lives and families just to help. Just to give of themselves to help a fellow person in need. I was in awe of the support shown to a family that most didn't even know.
It took less than a day for the ugly side of human nature to start. Some began to question the circumstances. Rumors started to fly. Facebook became a place I couldn't stand to be. The vile things that people feel like they can say online are disturbing. "Monday morning quarterbacks" started giving all their "advice" and opinions. Evidently they thought they could handle things better even though they hadn't left the warmth of their home. It wasn't just online. Every person everywhere had an opinion and felt they should share it. I guess their mamas didn't teach them that they don't have to say every word that pops into their head. In a time when many of us were raw and emotional from the situation and/ or time away from family members that were volunteering and/ or volunteering ourselves, these loose lipped people put us over the edge. Many of those in the community demanded more information, as if they were somehow entitled to every detail of an incident that didn't involve them in the least.
Can we please get back to manners and etiquette? Can we remember that Jesus said,
But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. Matthew 12:36
Can we realize that we don't have to have a loud opinion when people are hurting? I wish all those "keyboard commandos" had spent their time in prayer for this family instead of bashing everyone involved.
Unfortunately, the situation was resolved in the saddest outcome yesterday. While there is some blessing in closure, I know many had held out hope for a happy ending.
Even after public announcements were made and all the questions were answered, the worst people came back out. I guess those tv crime show "experts" were upset that their theories were wrong. Once again they went to social media to share more rumors and conspiracy theories. Those who had so diligently spread psychic's vague suggestions still felt the need to bash law enforcement and those same men and women who gave hours upon hours during the week.
While my human nature would love nothing more than to return the bashing upon those worst people, instead I will just say they need JESUS. They need our prayers.
If something this tragic happens in your community, remember that your opinions are just opinions. Please support your emergency personnel. Offer prayers. Offer assistance. Do not offer criticism and do not demand answers or information. Remember that we all make mistakes and that sometimes bad things do happen to good people. Remember that God's plans are better than our plans. And please, please, please remember that even on social media, one should use wisdom and manners before posting.