It might sound crazy, but I’m praising God that our home computer was destroyed. Well, not that it was destroyed per se, but that in His mercy God allowed us to know the true cause of the total crash. The techie who rebuilt the machine was able to pinpoint the source of the terrible virus which infiltrated our PC, as well as the precise time at which the system was infected.
Thank God we were not home when the virus attacked. We had travelled to another city for the baptism of our dear friends’ son. As a result, no one in our family came under false suspicion. No one had to be interrogated or questioned or put on the defense. There was only one person on the suspect list; only one person with access to the computer (though thoroughly lacking our permission to use it).
In our short absence, we had trusted our home and pets to someone we love, someone we thought we could count on; someone who knew the rules of the house and had agreed to follow them. Instead, he was tempted to transgress, and gave in to the temptation. He simply lacked the self-control to avoid forbidden fruit. His sinful choice led to the complete destruction of our PC and subsequent severe damaged to our relationship.
Relatively speaking, the computer’s hard drive (already rebuilt) won’t suffer the kind of long-term damage that viewing sinful images causes the human mind and soul. The young man who defied our rules and breached our trust needs our prayers for a full recovery from the vice; for freedom from that deadly demon. We pray that he will be set free from the type of dishonest and sneaky behavior that led to the crash. Unfortunately, he may not choose healing and might continue to engage in sins that may lead to the death of his soul. Thus far he has shown no remorse, and offered no apology. In short, he seems unaffected by the suffering, inconvenience and expense his behavior caused us.
Learning from our mistakes, we have since put a password on the machine, updated our anti-virus software and restricted the guilty party from being left alone in our home ever again. Our relationship with him has changed, not ended. As such, we have been given a new spiritual challenge: learning to be in the presence of someone who willfully and unapologetically betrayed our trust while showing him loving kindness and living virtues. This has not proven to be an easy task, to say the least.
I gain strength and perseverance in this trial by simply remembering our Lord in His endless mercy, His love for sinners and His willingness to be in their presence and serve them despite their vices and miseries. I have found comfort in reflecting upon the Last Supper, our Lord dining with Judas, fully knowing and accepting his role as the betrayer yet loving him as one of His own at table. What tremendous love! What unspeakable compassion! I pray that I may be blessed to receive a small dose of such perfect love and that I may in turn shower it upon someone at my table without regard for whether he is deserving of it or grateful for it.
May I always remember first and foremost my own unworthiness and sinfulness, and remain free from vindictive impulses against those who have hurt me.
“Lord, make me a channel of your peace…”