COLUMN: There is still hope for us all by Rev Dave Marvin

NEAALM110504D3 - St. Mary's church Greasley. Rev Dave Marvin
NEAALM110504D3 - St. Mary's church Greasley. Rev Dave Marvin

I read an article in the newspaper whereby a convicted criminal was reported to be allowed to sue a nurse in the NHS for damages.

The nurse’s crime was to not move out of the way when the criminal head-butted him, which resulted in the criminal sustaining bruising around his eye.

No consideration seems to have been given to the nurse, and the physical and emotional trauma that he has received, resulting in him needing sick leave for three months.

From an outsider’s point of view, it seems that the attacker has become the victim and the victim has become the attacker.

One of the latest ideas on how to control badly behaved children is to reward them lavishly when they do not misbehave.

The idea is to encourage them always to behave well.

Will such action encourage already well behaved children to behave badly, as those who are not rewarded for their normally good behaviour would, once they’ve been labelled ‘unruly’ by bad behaviour, be rewarded when their behaviour becomes acceptable once more?

I realise that I have simply read the newspaper reports and I am not in a position to see all of the facts and make a critical analysis of these cases.

I don’t wish to appear judgemental in any of them; I realise there are no easy solutions to them.

But the common thread that runs through these and many other cases like them is that from the outside looking in, the justice system seems to get things upside down at times.

It would be easy for each one of us, and society in general, to turn our backs on such cases and treat these people as lost causes without any hope.

There are many such cases recorded in the Bible, we think of King David and Saint Paul for example.

Both, in their own way had carried out terrible acts, contrary to God’s commandments.

But in them we find hope for all the lost in our own society, because, despite their failings, with God’s intervention they turned from their evil ways and became great pillars of faith.

Despite all of our own failings, there is still hope for each one of us - with God’s help.