Tuesday, April 28, 2009


It's 8:00 on the morning of my 42nd birthday. The temperature outside is already 67 degrees, a heatwave for Michigan in April. I've already been up for over an hour and opened up all the windows in the house to invite in the warm breeze. I'm daydreaming about spring cleaning and the promise of my summer time yard. The Mr.'s parents will be coming soon to stay with us for a while and I'm thinking ahead to do some extra housework each week in preparation.
I have just showered and being that it's too warm for my winter robe, I've pulled out my lightweight terry robe. Cherry blossom body cream and body spray. Rolled my hair in the large velcro rollers I use every day and blow dried through. Spritzed on the hair spray before I take out the rollers like I do every day to let my hair set. Pulled out the mani/pedi supplies to use while my hair finishes drying. My coffee in my green Marshall, Michigan mug is almost gone.
Just a lovely Saturday off with a day that couldn't hold more promise being that it's filled with the simplest of things that bring me the greatest joy. I'm amazed once again that this is where I've arrived after making so many other plans. This perfect moment that I never knew God had in mind when he denied me so many different wishes over forty two years.
Susan Smith comes to mind suddenly. Susan Smith, you remember her. On October 25 1994 she murdered her three year old son Michael and 14 month old son Alexander. She drove her car into a lake with the boys strapped into their car seats and let them drown. October 25, our anniversary. I remember so well the moments of the alert that the boys were missing based on her story that she'd been car jacked. I remember sobbing and praying and sobbing and praying and fearing, fearing, fearing. So close to home. Not in miles but in my heart and my head because my two little boys looked a lot like Michael and Alexander. Fifteen months apart, Michael and Alexander; Jay and Macky. "My God," I thought, "how is she even standing upright?" But she stood upright nonetheless crying and begging for the return of the two sons she had murdered. I have hated Susan Smith for fifteen years. And is as my way, I have thought of Michael as a high school senior and Alexander taking driver's education and hated her all over again. The boys' dad would've taken custody and she could've walked away. Their grandparents would've taken them. I would've taken them!
But she killed them so there will be no prom, no high school sweetheart, no warm spring breezes for Michael and Alexander.
Susan Smith sits in a maximum security prison serving a life sentence on the morning of my forty second birthday. I don't know why my mind is drawn to this woman today but this morning, I needed to ask God to forgive me for hating her. And I need to ask him to help me even more because this morning he asked me to pray for her. So I am praying for Susan Smith. For what I don't know, all I can seem to muster is her name called out to Christ right now. It's good that he knows the rest. Probably good that I don't.
I won't hate her anymore. I will try not to hope she is in torment for what she did. I'll try not to compare her boys to my boys and make it my pain.
I haven't yet figured out why Susan Smith is my responsibility spiritually but suddenly she is. The only answer I find is, just think if every Christian prayed for every murderer, criminal, sociopath, monster they heard of. Just think, how many times have I chosen not to pray for them having decided their actions make them ineligible for Jesus.


Amrita said...

Happy birthday Sara.

I would hate S S too. I rwad about her.

Wonder if she made her peace with God.

KayMac said...

It is interesting, when God says a person is ours to pray for, care about. Point taken...I talk about more than I pray about. What if???

Happy Belated Birthday!

Jada's Gigi said...

I have learned to pray
"Lord __________ " often. I find it may be the best possible prayer. it allows God to be God and to do exactly what He sees fit with our complete agreement, we don't have to know what that is or any specific way to pray..we are relieved of the responsibility of figuring out the right way...and just think...in so doing we get to be in on the miracle...whether we ever know it in this life or not.

Jada's Gigi said...

BTW Happy Birthday!

Constance said...

I remember her story all too well. Like you, I have wondered what could drive a MOTHER to kill her own children? Lately I have read about these parents that have killed their children and then dumped their bodies. I can't fathom that and yet... Christ died for everyone. Not just the moral, upstanding and "good", but all. If HE can forgive them (if they repent and turn to Him) shouldn't I? It's easier to hate...

Trish said...

All she had to do was ask the Daddy and he would've taken his precious
boys. I still remember him sobbing.

Deb said...

Playing catch up on my comments again. I felt the Lord's presence SO VERY MUCH when I read what you had to say about Susan Smith. I believe that your prayers moved things in the spiritual realm...you'll never know until we get to heaven. Your obedience to pray for her....awesome.