If you watch cable new regularly, you've undoubtedly seen video of the minivan driving into the ocean. Thirty-two year old Ebony Wilkerson of South Carolina was pregnant and had her three other children in the vehicle as she attempted to end their lives last week.
Everyone was rescued and the children are safe in custody.
Immediate reaction to this kind of story is offense at the mother. What kind of mother tries to drown her children?
This natural reaction is healthy in that all people should have the value of protecting children. Most Christians also believe that parents should put their own lives on the line before allowing harm to come to their children.
As authorities didn't find her abusing any substances, we may assume that this woman has mental illness.
As we dig deeper, we see that she was involved in an abusive relationship.
Domestic abuse can push people to do desperate acts that we view as despicable. Family violence is often so horrid because most of the time it happens behind closed doors where the cameras are not rolling.
On average, women are at a physical disadvantage to men. As we consider abuse and suffering during Lent, we remember that there are many in the world that are already at the cross.
What we do and say makes a difference. I believe that God stands with those who are on the outside looking in as Jesus declared that we should watch out for the least of these.
A great Biblical example of a woman standing up for her rights is in the story of Judah and Tamar in Genesis 38. It is a frank story about sexuality, inheritance and social standing and how the three were interrelated in that day and probably still are to some degree today. This story reminds us that gender injustice has been around for a long time and that abuse takes many forms.
During Lent, let us pray for those suffering from domestic violence and remind ourselves to inform children and youth when we see examples of violence among spouses that "We are to be respecters of ourselves and others." It may save a child's life.