The Ten Commandments: Murder in a Small Town

It’s always nice to find a corresponding news item that can be coupled with whatever the topic of a post is.  Except for this week.  If you follow this blog, then you know I just didn’t pull this particular scripture out of thin air because I’ve been writing on the Ten Commandments every Wednesday for the past four weeks.  How my heart broke on Monday when I heard about the shooting in Chardon, Ohio.

Chardon is a small town with a population of about 5,100 people that is located about thirty miles from Cleveland, Ohio.  The high school is approximately the same size as the high school my daughter, Claire, attends.  In the fall of 2011, there was a shooting at Claire’s high school, too.  The news of the shooting in Chardon brought back all the memories of how I felt when I learned what had happened at Cape Fear High School.  I can tell you that the last thing on the minds of mothers and fathers in Chardon on Monday morning was that their children would be put in harm’s way by the end of the school day and that three students would die while two others would be wounded.  It’s just not something that you wake up and ponder…until it happens to you.

I was going to write about the reasons that human beings kill each other (greed, jealousy, so-called “honor killings,” abortion, as well as killing for no apparent reason at all) but today I realized that it doesn’t matter why the human race commits murder.  God says that it’s wrong.  Before He gave Moses the Ten Commandments, God said it was wrong.  God severely punished Cain for the murder of his brother, Abel.

But the LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground!  Now you are cursed and banished from the ground, which has swallowed your brother’s blood. No longer will the ground yield good crops for you, no matter how hard you work! From now on you will be a homeless wanderer on the earth.”  Genesis 4:10-12 (NLT)

It’s not just a suggestion from the Author and Creator of life for His creation to hold the life that He gives as a sacred gift.  Life is not something that we can callously disregard.

By all accounts, T. J. Lane (the shooter) was a quiet student who excelled in school and was called “an average kind of kid” by neighbors who knew him.  When Lane was arraigned in court yesterday, the prosecutor said that the shooting wasn’t about drugs and alcohol or being bullied.  Lane didn’t even personally know the victims.  He never gave off odd vibes.  He never acted in any way that might alert someone that something might be wrong.  We may never know exactly why he murdered and wounded his classmates.  All we know for sure is that he took his grandfather’s gun to school and did just that.

So, instead of listing all the reasons why this may have happened, I’m just going to ask that you pray.  Please remember the wounded survivors in your prayers.  Eighteen-year-old Joy Rickers was released from the hospital yesterday but another student, Nick Walczak, remains in the hospital in serious condition but is expected to make a full recovery.  Remember the student body that is left to deal with the aftermath of this tragedy.  Remember the shooter, T. J. Lane, his sister, and his grandparents.

Most of all, please remember the families of the slain students in your prayers:

Daniel Parmertor, age 16

Russell King, Jr., age 17

Demetrius Hewlin, age 16

Ohio School Shooting

Students Gather for Prayer & a Candlelight Vigil outside of St. Mary‘s of Chardon on February 28, 2012

Image Credit:

Photo Credit:  Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Related Articles:

“Suspect in Shooting May Have Used Relative’s Gun”

“Let It Go”

“Another Young Life Stolen”

“The Top 5 Reasons to Murder Someone”

“Why Do Young People Murder?”

“Death:  An Inquiry Into Man‘s Mortal Weakness”


2 thoughts on “The Ten Commandments: Murder in a Small Town

  1. Such a sad event for all involved. I am afraid with all the pressures put on children these days to be adults instead of children that this will only increase. It is not like it was when we were in high school, the kids got in fist fights one day and were back to being friends within just a few days afterwards. Between pushing education to college level while just in jr. high – even for kids who are challenged, government taking discipline out of the home and school, gangs, easy access to drugs, peer pressure, parents having to be at 2-3 jobs just to make ends meet instead of being able to be at home like they want to be, parents who just don’t want to be bothered by their own kids, and so forth. This country has got to change!! There’s less and less focus on family, religion, and resepct for self and others these days. We need to get moral values and family values back in this country or it’s only going to get worse. As Mama used to say ‘It’s going to hell in a handbasket’.

    1. I think part of the problem with teenagers is they are not being taught to let God have vengeance. I firmly believe it’s my job to teach my kids “let go and let God.” It’s not just enough to believe IN God, but to believe that God can and will do what He says He can and will do.

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