Jimmy Dykes and Ethan
Why? Why this family and why this time? I don’t know and I am not going to try to help you think this through.
Eight days ago a 65-year old man, Jimmy Dykes, boarded a school bus with evil intentions. When the driver attempted to stop him, the driver lost his life. He was shot in cold blood in front of a load of children. That’s bad. Worse, Dykes then asked for all 6-8 year olds to raise their hands. I don’t know what happened after than other than that Dykes then took 5-year old Ethan captive and hurried off to an underground dwelling. For the week following I, along with countless others, held our breaths and prayed for a favorable outcome.
Yesterday a SWAT team stormed the bunker and rescued the little boy, Ethan, and in the process, Jimmy Dykes died. I feel relieved, and burdened silmoutaneously. I am certainly relieved that Ethan, who is celebrating his sixth birthday today, has been resuced. I am burdened for his parents. Only God can in grace and mercy help Ethan forget those days spent underground with an unstable man.
I feel relieved that the ordeal is over. Yet, burdened for the family of the bus driver who are grieving the loss of a dear person. I feel relieved that Jimmy Dykes will no longer threaten and bewilder those who lived in his neighborhood. I feel burdened wondering how it is that when the influence of the Word of God is so readily available in our country that Dykes did not seek Biblical solutions.
As to fairness, well, Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:45) that the sun rises, and it rains on both the just and the unjust. It could have been me. It wan’t. The brevity of life is certain and Proverbs 27:1 is true: “Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”
Please join me in prayer for these three families. Others affected are classmates and teachers, neighbors, doctors, funeral personnel–many people. There is a message for them in this if they will but look. We cannot predict what will happen this afternoon. We can plan. We go about life. In the end, the only certainty I have is eternal life found in the atoning work of Christ on the cross. I am sure of Heaven. I am His, and He is mine.