The Horror of No Hope

David Stertz
July 8, 2015

I fell for it: click bait. I moved over to a major news outlet’s website and scanned the headlines to see the news for the day. There I found this headline: “Feds Raid Jared’s Home – Follows child porn arrest of Subway pitchman’s aid.” It turns out that Jared has a foundation dedicated to helping childhood obesity and that the head of that foundation (Russell Taylor) was recently arrested for child pornography.

Jared, thus far, has not been charged or tied to anything for which I am thankful. However, I found a tragic line in buried the news article. Mr. Taylor, the one arrested on the child pornography charges “attempted suicide on May 6 at the Marion County Jail, and was placed on life support, but his health has improved, according to officials.”

Here the horror of sin met the horror of no hope. Without a doubt Mr. Taylor, if indeed guilty, has committed one of the most offensive crimes known to humanity. My heart is crushed when I think of the innocent little lives that will never fully be healed this side of eternity. Even if those little lives grow to know the manifold mercy of Christ’s saving work, their hurts will not be completely removed until “all tears are wiped away from their eyes.” In righteous anger, I find myself wishing just punishment upon people like Mr. Taylor.  The full force of the law needs to be brought to bear upon such sinners.

Yet I am also crushed by the hopelessness of Mr. Taylor. The suicide attempt would seem to indicate that he knows the guilt and shame of his sin. That guilt and shame overrode any hope for life. Horrifying sin met no hope in a jail cell.

I wonder what our modern society can offer to a man like Mr. Taylor? Some would answer “nothing. To bad his suicide attempt failed.” Others might suggest “rehabilitation.” Modern humanity seems to believe that we ought help people to improve themselves. Yet, what amount of “rehabilitation” can cover the mountain of guilt and shame of such actions?

Christianity cries out the answer – Jesus the Christ bore our guilt and shame on the cross. Truthfully, I have said and done things for which I still feel guilt and shame. I have said and done things that would place a smile on the demonic forces of hell. Even to this day it hurts to think about those actions. But I find that guilt and shame absolved by the cross of Christ. When those memories tear at my soul I take them to Christ and find them forgiven through his atoning sacrifice.

I pray that Mr. Taylor finds the same hope I have found in Jesus Christ. He needs his horror of sin to find the healing of Christ. Don’t we all?