My ways…

…are higher declares the Lord Isaiah 55:8-9

Justice, in this life?

I think I’m a bit cynical.  This topic has come up the past few days in conversation with friends.  It is a topic that is discussed a lot between my kids and I.

How do you even begin to wrap your mind around the foolishness of some people?  Foolishness that comes at a high price.  Not for the foolish person, but for those they hurt.  Tomorrow, at 12:30 pm, it will be 12 weeks since two state troopers showed up at my door to tell me that my husband was killed that morning in a head on collision on highway interstate 635.  I’ve replayed that scene over and over in my mind.  The utter horror that envelopes you, the initial unbelief, telling my children.  I remember the pain on the young officers face as he tried to comfort me and my children…he was so very young..not much older than my oldest son.

As details came to light over the next few days we were told that the collision happened because a 55-year-old man was going down the highway the wrong way.  It is still unknown how or why he got on the highway going the wrong way.  We do know that he is a recovering alcoholic of 30 years.  He admitted to having a drink that morning before he drove.  He admitted that he went against the advice of his doctor to not drive.  He has several DUI’s on his license.   He is also a very sick man due to his alcoholism so he is on heavy medication.

It seems terribly unfair that he is now enjoying the comfort of his home and family while we try to patch our lives back together without our husband and father.  No, IS unfair.  It’s unfair that justice will probably not be meted out enough to help sooth our pain.

So as I sit at the supper table with my children, night after night, and this topic comes up I struggle with what to say.  As I look at their faces and see their hurt, anger and want for justice I can’t say that if you looked at me you wouldn’t see the same thing.

I can try to spin it in a “spiritual way” and say “well, I’m sure he’s hurting too” or “lets not forget about his family and what they might be going through” or “he might not be a believer”..but it all feels false.  I mean really, who cares what he’s going through, he’s alive for his family right?   It’s a bit difficult to squeeze out any sympathy for the “bad guy”..and I’m not sure we are obligated to.  But we ARE obligated to forgive.

So we talk about forgiveness and what that looks like toward someone who killed their Dad.  We’ve talked about how much Christ has forgiven us.   We forgive because we have been forgiven.   What about justice?  I believe we do have the freedom to pursue some sort of justice in this country, however discouraging that may be.  It’s what we have for now.  Anything the justice system here metes out will not be near enough to compensate for my husband’s life.  I’ve tried to encourage my children and myself with the truth of Gods Word, that some day all wrongs will be made right.  (Ecc 3:17/I Cor 15; Rev 21..the passages are just too numerous to list of the hope that we have in God’s court some day.)

So, justice in this life?  no, that’s not where my hope lies.



  1. Karen Shepard

    Are charges coming for this guy? I sure hope so. It is not fair, at all, but at least the guy could be in prison for the rest of his life.

    • I don’t know Karen. If they are it’s a ways off.

      • Should be manslaughter. Have the police talked to you about pressing charges?

  2. I’m totally with you on this!!! (((Hugs)))

  3. Holly Palacio

    Well said Nicole. I wish there were another way to get the justice you, and Chris, so richly deserve, but this, among many examples, is our Lord’s reminder of the futility of this life without Him. As grateful as we are that Chris is among Christ’s believers, and we are, we have been given this additional reminder of how transient, temporary, and painfilled this world is. Without our hope in Him and His promises, we would forever only know this existence. Through this loss, and a blessed few others in my life, I have sought to lean on Him. It seems for so long I kept trying to rationalize and reason out what the purpose was for this plan, but I could not. That too was a death to self I had to pass through. It was a difficult acceptance to know that I just cannot fathom the ways of the Lord and leave it in His capable hands. There is my trust and hope for me, my family, you, your family and all our brothers and sisters. The oft repeated lines from Revelation have never had more meaning than in these few months, “…for the first heaven and the first earth shall pass away. There will be no more death, nor wailing nor grief.” Truly a gift. Much love to you my friend.

  4. Nicole, I so appreciate your honesty and sharing your heart. It was painful for me to see there was alcohol involved. A friend of mine lost her 16 year old to a drunk driver and it is so painful…because it is not an accident and it was based on bad judgement. I will pray for you as you share with your kids and that the Lord will give them the answers they need here on earth..clarity does not really come til heaven. love to you and your precious family.

  5. Kim S.

    I love that last sentence, Nicole. “No,that’s not where my hope lies.” You are living that out in a beautiful way.

  6. Arlita Burnham

    Love you, my friend. I think of you often and pray for you and for your children. Life isn’t fair. We felt that keenly when Martin and Gracia were in captivity and night after night I went to bed in the same room with my husband while Martin and Gracia were running through the jungle, trying to stay alive. Then Martin was killed and it seems forever not fair that those three kids don’t have their father when my children do. God’s ways and thoughts are so vastly different than what we would have planned. He gives and takes away. Someday it will all make sense when we see Him face to face. Praying He will comfort you in His special way today. Arlita Burnham in PNG

    • Thank you Arlita! so good to hear from you!

  7. Some days, I can’t find it in me to forgive. But, I can always accept that God forgives, and on those days, that has to be enough.

  8. Jeanne Keller

    Nicole, my heart breaks for you in this time of questioning “why?” and trying to make sense out of the nonsense of an impaired driver taking the life of your husband and 5 children’s father. The limited justice system will take time and patience to work through, and at the end of the day, it is never enough. And so we rely on the love of God to give us strength, wisdom, compassion, and fortitude to make it through the rough days, and are grateful for any moments of “normalcy” and laughter which eases the pain. Be very gentle with yourself, practice what I call “extreme self care”, and know your many friends and family members are holding you and your children closely in prayer each day.

  9. denise rousselo

    You are so much I learn from you. I pray for peace and justice. I am thankful you are my friend and am sure someone above saw i needed someone like you in my life and I wish there was more I could do. You are so loved

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