Monday, December 3, 2012

Reflections on the Tragedy in Kansas City

This past Saturday there was a lot of great things going on in the country in the realm of sports.  College football was playing their championship games (and playoffs).  The NFL was gearing up for another great day of action.  But there was one tragic event that cast a somberness to the weekend.

When I woke up that morning and was going about my routine I saw on twitter a tweet by Danny Parkins, a sports talk host from Kansas City, who had tweeted that Arrowhead Stadium was on lockdown.  I thought at the time that was weird and was trying to think of what was going on at the stadium.  Then slowly tweets and news reports were coming in across the internet.  There was a shooting at a house in K.C. & there was an incident at the stadium practice facilities and that those two things were linked.  Then there was a murder-suicide.  Then it was one of the players involved.

Finally, the story came out.  Jovan Belcher, linebacker for the Chiefs, had shot and killed his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, and mother of their daughter then killed himself.  As more details came out, the more it was a tragic story.  It started with Belcher getting angry at his girlfriend for staying out too late after spending time with friends at a concert and hanging out afterwards.  It escalated into Belcher shooting and killing Perkins and then driving to the Chiefs practice facility.  There he talked with Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel, GM Scott Pioli & linebackers coach Gary Gibbs before pulling out a gun and killing himself as they watched unable to stop him.

So much has been written in the past 48 hours that I'm sure a lot of what I say would just be repeating but there are two things that I do want to reflect on here.  The first is that it's a tragic reminder that ultimately (unlike Jason Whitlock & Bob Costas say) there is a sin problem in our world.  Belcher in his anger and jealousy acted in a tragic manner which robbed Perkins of her life and their daughter of her mother.  Sin was at the root of this.  I was reminded yesterday morning by my pastor who preached on anger (it was planned sermon prior to this event) and was reminded of the verse in Ephesians 4:26-27 "Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil."  Unfortunately, Belcher in his anger did sin and in one instant not only his life but the lives of those around him were affected.  Sin has consequences that affect not only us but those around us.  Thankfully we have a savior in Jesus who forgives us of our sins and does not leave us in our sins but until He returns again, we do have to deal with the effects of sin.

The other thing to reflect on was something I read this morning on NBC's Pro Football Talk website.  There was an article written by Mike Florio.  He shared Brady Quinn (Chiefs QB)'s comments postgame.  If you haven't heard or read them yet, they are worth sharing.  I will leave you with those quotes:

“The one thing people can hopefully try to take away, I guess, is the relationships they have with people,” Quinn told reporters after the game.  “I know when it happened, I was sitting and, in my head, thinking what I could have done differently.  When you ask someone how they are doing, do you really mean it?  When you answer someone back how you are doing, are you really telling the truth?
“We live in a society of social networks, with Twitter pages and Facebook, and that’s fine, but we have contact with our work associates, our family, our friends, and it seems like half the time we are more preoccupied with our phone and other things going on instead of the actual relationships that we have right in front of us.  Hopefully, people can learn from this and try to actually help if someone is battling something deeper on the inside than what they are revealing on a day-to-day basis.”

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