Saturday, November 9, 2013

Justice or Forgiveness


Lindsay and her daughter were killed by a drug addict. Many of you have heard that our nineteen year old daughter, Lindsay Bloem Hoover and her daughter, Emily Hope, (who was full term in the womb), were killed by Timothy Fields on September 11, 2001 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Lindsay was returning from a special prayer vigil that had been called on that tragic day by Pastor Doug Compton of Alpine Baptist Church in Comstock Park, Michigan.

On that horrible eventful day there were terrorists in the New York and in Virginia. There were terrorist in the air and terrorist on the ground.  Lindsay in my opinion was killed by a terrorist,on the ground, who was American, who was driving under the influence of heroin, cocaine and marijuana.
Afghanistan has been the greatest illicit opium producer in the entire world for many years. The suicide bombers were the heroin killers  that came from that area in the world. Apparently the American government did not dare to do something with the opium trade after they kicked the Taliban out of Afghanistan. Drugged drivers continue to go through the land killing people in their drug induced stupor.
Robyn, her siblings and I witnessed the accident.  My wife Robyn, two of my sons, and I were in our van following right behind Lindsay.  Robyn was driving because I was still sick with Lithium toxicity. I had been in the hospital, just prior to this, for about 8 days. 
Our smiling Lindsay was driving next to us on the passenger side of our van.  Anyone who knew Lindsay knew how friendly and fun-loving she was. She was on her way to pick up her husband, Bill Hoover, from work. As she smiled and waved, she passed our van. We watched in horror as seventeen year old, Timothy Fields of Newaygo, MI crossed four lanes of traffic. We began to scream as we heard a sickening thud and saw our precious Lindsay being hit head-on by this stranger. Who could begin to describe the dreadfulness of the scene that unfolded before us? I felt suspended in some type of surreal time warp, as Brant, Robyn and I rushed to the mangled car. Eleven year old Tyler had to be coaxed out of our vehicle. Precious Lindsay was trapped in the wreckage of her obliterated car.
Lindsay and Emily were killed by the above mentioned terrorist,Timothy Fields.  I cannot begin to tell you how terrified we were as we were the first responders to this attack by Fields and his friends. A car can be a terrible weapon. The autopsies of Lindsay and Emily showed that their vital organs were eviscerated. As those that had gone before us that day, we were now thrust into a world of chaos with a result of post traumatic stress disorder. As I mentioned, heroin was found in the car. It comes from opium. 
Fields is a predator. In a bizarre but all too predictable turn of events, five days after Fields posted bond, he robbed a seventy eight year old woman at gun point with three other young men, one being her neighbor. The woman was pushed on the floor and Fields put a gun to her back. After stealing about $2,500.00 from her, they got into a get-a-way car driven by a woman in her forties. A couple of hours later the Grand Rapids Police Department arrested the woman, finding crack-cocaine near her seat. However, they did not impound the car but released it to the young men. Fields once again drove a car back to Newaygo, and I am not at all doubtful that he was under the powerful influence of drugs, while driving (Grand Rapids Press Saturday, Article 3, 6/15/2002).
Fields stands before the Judge. At the sentencing in May, we were in very close proximity to Fields, (though he never looked at us). We were not told of the parole violation I just described. Robyn and I both had our say. I still remember the last words that I said, to the courtroom, asking Judge Kolenda to throw the book at him. My point was that if they did not get harder on crime in this country, Fields and people like him would be "coming to a suburb near you." Those were my exact words. I am not a prophet; I was merely looking at the type of criminal Fields was.  (I have seen many like him) and given the Biblical view of sinful human nature, it is was very predictable that he would again, given the opportunity, demonstrate no true regard for the lives of others or show any respect for them. There are many like him across this land of ours, killing people and getting off with light sentences.
The civil law in our land is not just didactic and rehabilitative. There is a punitive aspect to the civil law as well as rehabilitative. God uses government to deal out retribution to and suppress evil doers.   Romans 12:17-21 very importantly talks about “forgiving your enemies." We have forgiven an unrepentant Fields; this is our part of living out the Christian life. We cannot take the law into our own hands and deal him his due; that is the job of the legal system.
Does forgiving your enemies negate justice for those who transgress serious laws of the land? No.  Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. "For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.   Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God ; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil" (Romans 13:1-3)