The Man Who Felt Empty

Photo by Maria Orlova on

Awhile ago I was watching an episode of Forensic Files. This particular episode documented a story of a man who was a serial arsonist/killer. As one would expect, my initial thought upon watching and listening to the story was how on earth could a human being do these things to other human beings. As I continued watching to the end, they interviewed this man from prison asking him what the motive was behind his heinous crimes. What he said struck me, not because I did not know or understand what he said, but with newfound truth which was revealed to me a short time before, my mind went to how these evil, heinous acts could have been prevented. His words struck me because, while absolutely never justifying his acts, I felt and understood his pain. He said, “I do not know why I did what I did. I cannot explain it, other than to say I felt empty. I felt empty inside.” Wow. I knew exactly what he was talking about.

There is a reason for everything. I find it surprising and disturbing how more often than not people cannot or do not trace their choices, character, morality, etc., to an identifiable root cause or causes. Towards the end of the segment on the serial arsonist, they reported on his past, detailing his childhood upbringing and family life. Slowly, this blurry picture of an evil man began to come into the clear view of a wounded boy. His parents, to be blunt, were downright weird. His father, while professing to be an avid Christian and minister, was extremely controlling, ruling the family with an iron fist. He was abusive and cold towards the boy, never showing much of a desire or interest to spend time, build a relationship with him. This was staggering to me! His mother protected and coddled him, seemingly from her abusive husband, but although this was understandable, it could not undo the damage done or fill the voids of pain and hurt left by his domineering and distant father. My heart ached in agony, imagining and wondering if one person, just one, seen, understood, and took steps to help him.

I fully understand all people will not be saved. In looking at the life of Jesus, who is the revelation of Truth, Love, (and more!) I find it amazing the different responses He received from different people. Some responded in faith, praise, and adoration, while some responded in offense, disdain, and hate. Fascinating! Therefore, we can surmise not everybody will respond positively to real, genuine Love. The reason being is because Love is also kin with Truth and Light, and we all know the Truth hurts and the Light reveals what we would rather keep hidden. You either run to or run from. However, we can also say whether people positively respond or not, everyone needs to be shown God/True Love. In this instance, I am not so sure the wounded boy who turned into a serial arsonist was shown Who he needed most. Who we all need most.

It is possible someone did try to help him and he rejected. Surely that happens. I do not truly know. What I do know is the desire to inflict pain and hurt on someone else because you felt “empty” is a direct reflection of the heart of a person who did not, could not receive Love. Hurt people hurt people. May we all consider and remember the Love of God, the blood of Jesus, and the presence of His person is the only Way to fill this emptiness inside – these holes in our souls. In Jesus name.

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