I’m sure many of you, like me, were devastated to hear news of Mollie Tibbet’s body being discovered in a rural corn field. Mollie was a beautiful, vibrant young woman who should have been starting her sophomore year of college this fall. Her life took a tragic turn on July 18th, when a man who shouldn’t even have been in this country saw her running, abducted and murdered her.
This story haunts me for a number of reasons: Mollie is the age of my third son, who is currently starting his own sophomore year in college. Her sweet face and disarming smile captured my attention when first splashed across the news weeks ago. I have since followed the story, breath held, hoping against hope that she would surface unharmed.
There are the political issues to think about, which are enough to make us all crazy, but for a moment I am going to set that aside. Mollie deserved a long life. She deserved to enjoy her college years, and savor her friendships and loves, and precious time with her family. She deserved to choose a career, and experience her first exciting and apprehensive days as a new employee. She deserved to marry someone special and dream about babies and a future together. She deserved to have the opportunity to impact this world with a unique, Mollie-sized footprint.
I grieve, with her precious family, that this opportunity has been stolen away from Mollie. We will never realize the contributions that she might have made on this earth. The injustice of all of this tears at my heart, but what I am left with is this: we are still here. “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8,9.) God has tasked us with using our gifted traits and talents to make a difference in this world. Sometimes, just the idea of that assignment makes me want to crawl back into bed. I find myself paralyzed with fear. But, we have the opportunity, while we still walk this planet, to do what Mollie never had the chance to do. Take courage, dear friends. Share yourself and your gifts with the world. Do it as an honor to our Maker, and do it for your brothers and sisters on earth. And do it for Mollie.