Character or Characters?

The events of this week have provided a unique look into the American psyche and provided quite a contrast in characters… and character.

First, we had an individual who evidently planned and executed a scheme designed to make it look as if he were the victim of a hate crime. To no one’s surprise, grandstanding politicians and media members rushed to judgement, and condemned the attack as the result of right-wing rhetoric. Uncharacteristic of them, isn’t?

After the rather, eh, tame phrase, “modern day lynching,” was thrown around publicly, we soon found out that it was all made up. Staged. Fake. A ruse.

And the response from those very loud voices from days earlier?


So, it wasn’t a hate crime at all.

Or, was it?

Perhaps an individual staging his own hate crime and falsely accusing a specific people group for the supposed heinous attack is actually committing a hate crime. Something to consider.

Regardless, it was another of many recent caricature moments for American culture, which now seems to be alternately accelerating in two very different directions.

In the other direction, we witnessed another incident – an authentic tragedy – to which the media has paid very little attention.

37-year-old Josh Pinkard was one of the five victims of the shooting at an Aurora, Illinois manufacturing plant, last week. As he lay dying, he texted his wife.

“I love you, I’ve been shot at work…” the text read.

They were his final words.

In the midst of grief and heartbreak, Josh’s wife Terra was more like Terra Firma.

Rather than expressing bitterness toward her husband’s killer or raging at the world, or calling for all firearms to be confiscated, she expressed gratitude for the time she had been given with her husband.

She wrote on Facebook:
“I want to shout from the rooftops about how amazing Josh was! He was brilliant! The smartest person I’ve ever met! My best friend! …The man who was dying and found the clarity of mind for just a second to send me one last text to let me know he would always love me… A huge bright light has left this world. I am lost and devastated beyond words. Things that mattered yesterday do not matter today. I
will praise the Lord for giving me this mountain of a man."

It has been said that adversity reveals a man’s true character; that when we are put in the proverbial press of life, what’s inside of us is what comes out.

The example could not be any clearer this week of what true character is. And what it is not.

What it is, is incredibly moving.

Josh Pinkard. Terra Pinkard. No blame. No bitterness. No grandstanding. Just love and gratitude.

Terra Firma.

It is the biggest story this week that no one is covering.

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