Monday, May 28, 2007

bad things, good people

When I heard last week that they had arrested a man (Mark Edward Grant – a repeat sexual offender) for the 1984 murder of Candace Derksen, I perked up my ears. Besides being gripped by the chilling story of a 13-year-old who mysteriously goes missing on her way home from school – the mere thought of which strikes fear into the heart of any parent – I know her parents Cliff and Wilma. We attended the same Bible School. It’s heartening to know that the police were still working on the case this many years later.

Of course that’s not the end of it. As Wilma is quoted in a Winnipeg Free Press article from May 17th, “It feels like our lives have been turned upside down again.” Now they face the lengthy (and unpredictable) court ordeal.

Not only were the lives of Candace’s parents turned upside down with her murder, but the lives of her friends as well. In a May 26th WPF article, Mike McIntyre reports on conversations he had with Candace’s friends Heidi and David after the arrest. David, 15 at the time of her disappearance and the last of her friends to see her alive on November 30, 1984, was the police’s prime suspect. He was interrogated again as recently as Valentine’s Day, 2007.

As with all these kinds of tragedies, it seems so unfair. Why did this happen to these wonderful people? But then we could ask, why do tragedies – illnesses and deaths and crimes etc. – happen to any and all of us? And when they do, how do we cope?

To me this illustrates again the importance of preparing in advance for the inevitable ‘day of trouble.’ One way to do that is to formulate now – before that trouble comes – a theology of suffering and evil. Take a look at these two posts at Rebecca Writes for a leg up in that department.

On Preparing for Suffering and Evil from D. A. Carson – link and notes on sermon one

On Preparing for Suffering and Evil from D. A. Carson – link and notes on sermon two

And from another angle...

"Finding Forgiveness in the Depths of Sorrow" by Wilma Derksen (Candace's mom), originally published on the website of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in October 2006.


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