Saturday, May 3, 2008

I can't imagine being locked up for 24 years

I can't imagine human life without the sun, without the sight of other people walking in the street.

Which makes me all the more wonder what that Austrian man did to his children: he locked them up in a basement cellar, not for a day, not for even a week, but for 24 years. What's even harder to bear is that he molested one of his daughters (who was 19 when she was locked up). As a result, she bore him 3 sons and 3 daughters, all of whom didn't have any iota of an idea what the outside world looked like--or that there was one to begin with.

I know it's sick, but it's so sick I can't imagine it. To lock up someone is to curtail his freedom, not just to go places but to interact with other human beings. Interaction with society is part of the human experience. In a sense, we are shaped by the people we know. Our interactions with others allow us to interact with ourselves. We can't completely isolate ourselves; God didn't design us that way.

But what bothers me now is the question that's most difficult to ask: Why?

Why his children, of all people? Why 24 years? Why didn't anybody notice, not even the neighbors? Why didn't his wife know (or did she)?

In those 24 years, how did he treat his children when they got sick? What did he do when his child was in labor and in dire need of a decent doctor to help her out? What did the children talk about when they were inside? In the absence of sunlight, how did their bodies absorb Vitamin D?

Such is the depravity of the human heart.

May God help the children recover from this traumatic experience, and may His sun don on them finally, after these 24 long, hard years.


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