Sunday, 14 October 2007

Rape and Murder in Königswinter

Hannah was 14 years old. She lived in Königswinter, a picturesque village on the Rhine, neighbouring my home town of Bonn. On the evening of the 29th of August this year, on the way home from her boyfriend and few hundred yards from her parents' house, a 25 year old Czech bus-cleaner threatened her with a knife, gagged and bound her, and dragged her onto the premises of the company he worked for. In a bus, he raped her. Afterwards he dragged her in front of the bus, where he cut and stabbed her repeatedly until she bled to death.

How do you respond to this? How should you respond to this? I find myself choked, overwhelmed, as if my normal categories can't contain the world anymore. I feel enraged and ask myself what it is I can do in a world like this. And then I feel the fear of knowing that it won't be long until my filters come back into place, and the beauty of the light and the Autumn trees will give me a peace that I know, deep inside, I can never claim to truly own in this world.

There's a groaning in this creation so deep as to unsettle the ground of the earth upon which we stand. I want to weep like Lamentations, and ask myself where is the 'good' that God saw in this creation that he made? I feel the tension between life and death in my own bones, and I want so much to live the way living was meant to be. But I can't, because with every step I know there's death around the corner. Where does the Gospel fit into all this?

Just some Sunday thoughts.

Unconnected to my intention to write this, I listened to the best sermon I've ever heard this afternoon on my i-pod. You can download it here.


danny said...

ich werde mir diese predigt mal anhören. ich kenne tim keller, aber diese Seite mit der Vision Campaign, davon hatte ich noch nichts gehört. naja, auch hier fühle ich mich zu hause, wenn die beste predigt, die du je gehört hast aus dem reformierten Lager kommt.

Phil Sumpter said...

Du musst unbedingt die ganze Serie durchhören! Ich habe sie fast zu Ende geschafft (jeden Sonntag einen), und will die ganze Serie noch mal hören. Der Kerl is super, total inspirierend. Du wirst dir was Gutes tun, wenn du seine Worte zum Herzen nimmst!