Posted by George Morrison

There can be few examples of the misuse of power that exceed that of an adult kidnapping and abusing a child. The helplessness of the victim illustrated by Jaycee Dugard, kidnapped at age 11 on her way to school, contrasts strongly with the power of the kidnapper, Philip Garrido and his wife Nancy. Philip Garrido was first charged with kidnap and rape at the age of 20. He was convicted and appears to have been imprisoned from 1976 to1988 when he was released on parole. This did not deter him from kidnapping Jaycee in 1991, 3 years later. The case bears some resemblance to that of Josef Fritzel who went to elaborate lengths to imprison his captive in specially constructed cells under his house. Garrido appears to have relied less on incarceration and more on creating a physiological prison for his victim. Comparatively speaking Jaycee was permitted some liberty. She seems to have had access to fresh air and the “freedom” to move about the secured back garden. This has left her feeling guilty for “bonding” with her abductor and not attempting to escape. It is likely that the two daughters, now aged 11 and 15 fathered by Garrido, occupied her time and complicated any escape plans she might otherwise have made. Garrido has some sort of religious streak where, according to his blog, God had given him the ability “to speak in the tongue of angels in order to provide a wake-up call that will in time include the salvation of the entire world”. What is even more alarming is the reaction of the hundreds of “bloggers” who have left comments on the site in the last few days. This has become something of a lightning rod attracting vicious remarks of a uniformly merciless variety. What does the Word say? Let’s start with the portion Garrido partially quoted. It reads, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” The absence of love in Garrido’s actions and in the comments on his blog show that love is in short supply. The sort of love the Bible speaks of is seen most clearly in Jesus. St John defines it for us, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins”. Jesus had the ultimate power position on the cross. He could have come down from it as the priests suggested. Instead he showed the ultimate love for sinners in providing a way for all who repent to get right with God.  This is the message of salvation that has been already provided for the world.  It is for Garrido and it is for you.