Haunted and Convicted

August 24, 2011


WARNING:  Graphic and upsetting content within this post!

The disturbing news has flashed across my computer filters all week.  A 7-year-old boy with Cerebral Palsy was discovered brutally murdered by his father on Sunday, August 14, 2011 in Louisiana.  The community in which he lived has reeled with outrage as the father was charged with first-degree murder in the case.  As the days  unfolded, the mother further revealed that the father of this virtually non-verbal, tube-fed, wheelchair bound boy has threatened to take the child’s life since he was less than 6 months of age.  This has only served to fuel the outcry to recommend the death penalty as punishment for  this horrific tragedy.

I have found this story to be both haunting and convicting to say the least.  For starters, it seems completely unfathomable to a mom who loves and is engaged with her children that a parent could ever commit such a gruesome crime against their own flesh and blood.  A person like me sits here wondering how a human person, created in the image of God could find it loving to take the life of anyone in such a macabre fashion.  The utter depravity of humankind boggles my mind as I ponder this crime.  And yet, I remember the biblical stories of Israelites intermarrying with Pagans and sacrificing their children in the fire to Molek.  How this must break God’s heart in ways we cannot even comprehend!

Beyond how disturbing the situation is, I feel a heavy conviction upon the church, including myself as a member, for how we may have failed this family.  When this father was hopeless and desperate in the early days of this child’s life, where was the Body of Christ in showing him that Jesus brings purpose and hope in suffering?  Where were we to support the mother and father in the difficulty of living with the daily caregiving of this sweet boy?  What more could we have done to assure that a situation like this would never happen?  And what will we be doing to ensure that something of this sort will never take place again?

My friends, we in the arena of disability ministry must not let our passion wain or our energy fade!  We must continue to fill ourselves to be poured out again.   Because those living with the challenges, sorrows and even despair of special needs are hungry for the message we have to share.  There is much work to do, and we have only begun to scratch the surface.

For some, statistics like the CDC study of the past year identifying 1 in 6 children as having some sort of developmental disability will be enough to motivate them.  But for others, this heartbreaking story from Louisiana will need to be told.  As awful and unthinkable as it is, it must be told because we are often the only good-news-bearers standing between a special needs family and utter darkness.  And living with our hearts broken for what breaks God’s heart will motivate in powerful ways.

I urge you, my co-laborers in Christ, continue to share the news of this community in order to draw more workers to the fold and build the church’s outreach to these families!  Continue to convey the urgent and desperate need!  We must not rest “until the whole world hears”!

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About Michael Woods

Christ-follower, husband, chocoholic, and peanut-butter lover! I'm a father to triplet boys...each on the autism spectrum.

View all posts by Michael Woods


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2 Comments on “Haunted and Convicted”


    And now, a story like this: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44262106/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/#.TlWWWagdyuI We must be ready and available for hurting souls who would do something this outrageous!


  2. Sara Says:

    When my late daughter was diagnosed I thought my church would be a place I could feel safe unjudged , protected, supported so imagine my horror when taken aside I was asked to leave my daughter at home, not to bring her to services. It’s seems Rett syndrome was not understood , tolerated my daughter was a nuisance to the church.

    This happened over ten years ago and for 7 of those years I lost trust in christianty how could something built of Gods love be so cruel. I realised slowly that it wasn’t the religion at fault but the people of the church I attended.

    At the time this happened I was dealing with so much, Livvy’s diagnoses, loss of friends the eventual loss of my home. What I would have given for someone to pray with me, support me guide me.

    Thankfully I have come to a place where I know that there are so amazing Christians in the world and i have always known God loves us. Now Jesus is taking care of Livvy until
    We are reunited.


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