How Do I Know God If God Values Me?
Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? Luke 15:4
One of the marks of affluence in Russia today is the vast network of hastily constructed metal storage sheds which look like corrugated matchboxes just large enough to hold a car or protect building materials from greedy eyes. With no windows and a large padlock, these storage sheds become a virtual prison for anyone unfortunate enough to be inside when the door closes.
And that was exactly what Alexander Komin, 44, an electrician by trade, had in mind. Komin dug a tunnel under his, some 40 feet deep, and at the end of a tunnel he hollowed out a cave-like bunker about 10 x 10 feet. Within this cave-like dungeon, far enough from the surface that no one could hear or see what took place, Komin lured homeless women who were used for his own pleasure.
By the time he was arrested, at least two women and two men had been murdered, and three other women were chained within the dungeon, the word slave crudely tattooed on their foreheads.
The New York Times described a local effort to assist the two women who had been violated. Quote: “When Tatyana Melnikova, 37, and Tatyana Kozikova, 38, first showed their tattooed faces on local television, the municipal authorities opened bank accounts for them so viewers could donate the $400 it would cost to get the tattoos removed.” And how did people respond? The article continued saying, “So far, not a single ruble has been deposited on their behalf.”
Contrast that with the story of “Hardluck Hanna” who is a female rottweiler, a dog whose disposition can be less than friendly. Poochie Hanna, who had been abandoned by her owner, gave birth to three puppies in a trash disposal bin. She was found there as trash men came to empty the bin. Caring dog lovers got her to a veterinarian, who couldn’t save the pups but did save her life. Then dog lovers began to rally and found a new home for her, a long way from the place she was found.
When airlines declined transporting her because of the heat and layovers between planes, dog lovers used the Internet to find some 12 volunteers who would each drive the dog to the next rendezvous point where someone else would take Hanna to the next stop, eventually transporting her some 3,000 miles to a new home.
What a contrast to the responses of those whose hearts were not in the least touched by the plight of two women who had been kidnapped, sexually molested, and then crudely tattooed by their abductor, and yet not a person would respond to help them remove the hideous tattoo spelling the word “slave” on their foreheads. Yet an abandoned dog touches the hearts of dozens of people who contribute money and time to save the pooch and transport her half way across a continent to a new home.
Is it possible that the issue goes far deeper than how hearts are touched to what makes people value human life? In countries with repressive governments, the plight of victims is ignored. People don’t count, provided you are not the one caught in the juggernaut of violence
Yet under a democratic system, even an abused dog counts for something. In times of disaster, notice where the tons and tons of relief goods originate. By and large, they come from countries that were once influenced by men and women with Judeo-Christian values. God values every life, and that makes a difference.
Resource reading: Luke 10:25-37.