A teen mother, a shotgun and a difficult decision
She was left a widow and single mother at 18. Her husband passed away on Christmas because of cancer, her three-month-old son a constant reminder of the loved one she lost. 2011 in Blanchard, Oklahoma turned disastrous.
Less than a week later, two young men showed up on her doorstep. She had seen one of them before, but had a bad feeling about it. The men knocked on her door while dread blazed through her mind. Barricade door with couch. Check the pistol. Load the shotgun. Grab the baby. Call 911.
Twenty minutes later, the men managed to break through the door. The first was carrying a twelve-inch hunting knife.
What would you do?
Sarah Dawn McKinley took aim, both shotgun and pistol in hand. The moment Justin Shane Martin was in the house, a shotgun blast took him down. Permanently. Accomplice Dustin Louis Stewart fled.
“It’s not an easy decision to make, but it was either going to be him or my son. And it wasn’t going to be my son.”
“There’s nothing more dangerous than a mother with her baby. But I wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for him.”
At some point, I realized that my view on such a concept could drastically, even fatally, affect those around me, those whom I love. As a man who will one day vow to protect a woman and children of my own, how could I do so when a situation escalates to the point of threatening the life of my own family?
A choice must be made. My life or his? The lives of my family, or his? Biblically, a human life is of utmost value because man is made in God’s image and is therefore a unique being within the universe. But it’s also clear that God calls people to stand for another one of His values, justice.
Do we still descend to “an eye for an eye” view of violence against those who threaten us? How do we reconcile this against Jesus’ heart of grace and forgiveness and second chances, even for the worst of the worst? How should we react when those considered our enemies come against us? Revenge? Defense? Murder? War?