I saw The Toronto Star today—its front page, though I rarely look at this particular paper—with its picture of Conrad Black heading to prison and underneath the headline “Lord 18330-424.” Could not help but think of the way the world often gloats over the unhappy circumstances of others. Oh, you say, this man deserved this. Maybe—maybe not. I honestly do not know and I have not followed the details of the trial. It is not so much in the interest of justice that I am blogging.
Rather, I am concerned about the way in which there is something rotten in the human heart that takes comfort in the misery of others.
You doubt this? Then read Fik Meijer, The Gladiators: History’s Most Deadly Sport, trans. Liz Waters (New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2007), pages 1-12—very convicting about the depth of human depravity.
Still unconvinced? Then read the account of Alypius, the friend of Augustine, and the time he went to the Roman Colosseum.
And it should not be this way for the followers of the merciful Jesus who prayed for those who put him to death—he did not gloat that one day they would face a Judge much greater than Pilate—namely himself and inherit the trash-heaps and ashen dumps of hell if they had not repented. Who can gloat when all of us--oh yes, no exceptions here; my universalism--deserve just this?