I was originally planning to be the only blogger on the planet who didn’t comment on the Caylee murder trial verdict. In case you’ve been in a coma for the last several years, you know by now that Casey Anthony was declared “not guilty” in the murder of her daughter Caylee. Since I have only skimmed a few headlines pertaining to the case, I’m not qualified to have an opinion about the outcome, although that hasn’t stopped anyone else.
While I have largely ignored the trial, it’s pretty much impossible to ignore the outpouring of opinion. My friends’ facebook pages, the headlines on every news feed on my homepage, the assorted blogs I follow—all are consumed with the topic. You’d think nothing else of importance happened anywhere else on the planet.
This trial had all the makings of a soap opera… lies, violence, deceit, sex and scandal. No wonder so many people watched every moment. From what I’m reading, it appears that the ‘not guilty” plea was based on a technicality—the evidence didn’t completely prove the specific charges—and a pile of misinformation that would confuse anyone. Anthony is not an appealing person, and her daughter was adorable. It’s no surprise that so many people are angry that justice appears to be thwarted.
My point is that most of us were not in that courtroom. We didn’t see or hear what the jury saw and heard. We had to rely on the news, and the news was biased. As a result, Anthony was tried and convicted in the minds of the public weeks before the verdict was determined by the court.
So much of what we see and hear, so much of what is presented as “fact,” is really opinion. Unless we’re personally involved in a situation, we really can’t believe what we hear. From presidential elections to man-made global warming (excuse me, “anthropogenic climate change”) to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, media coverage determines what we believe to be true.
While I’ve always known that “you can’t believe everything you read,” I didn’t fully grasp how bad it’s gotten until our megachurch pastor made the headlines a few years ago. I’m sure you heard all about it. When a highly visible, conservative evangelical pastor makes mistakes of this magnitude, everyone pays attention. Since this is the church we attend, we knew the actual story. Our local media did a good job reporting the facts, but as the story spread, it was like the game of telephone—things rapidly became significantly distorted. As a result, I’m now much more skeptical than I used to be.
While I really detest politics, I’ve tried to create a balanced set of sources that feed into my homepage every morning. Reading the news from different slants helps point out discrepancies. But that isn’t enough to really let me know the truth.
That’s when I pray for wisdom and discernment. I pray that God will allow me to see clearly. I ask Him to keep me from being deceived.
No matter how badly some reporter slants a story, God knows exactly what the facts are—and He’s quite eager to fill us in. We’re familiar with James 1:5—“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” And I love Proverbs 14:33—“Wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning and even among fools she lets herself be known.” I guess that means there’s hope for me yet!
We’re used to asking God to help us with all sorts of things, to direct our paths, to heal our bodies, for comfort and forgiveness. Somehow, in the midst of all that, I often find that I’ve forgotten to ask for His perspective on current events.
When you stop and think about it, it’s pretty obvious that God will have a different viewpoint about history. To us, the swirl of human activity looks like chaos. To God, it’s all part of His divine plan for the world. And, as Jesus stated in John 15:15,
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
In other words, God tells His friends what He’s up to.
I don’t know whether justice was served in this trial, and it really doesn’t matter—my opinion won’t change a thing. Besides, God has it all under control. If Anthony was guilty of murder, she will have to someday face God and give an account, just as we all will. And if all she is guilty of is incredibly bad judgment, lying and deceit, selfishness and a callous heart, well, she’ll still have to give an account. None of us is innocent; we all need Jesus. I pray she finds His grace and mercy before it’s too late.