Looking at that photo of Jared Loughner time and again this past week, I have been struck by the obvious. The shaved head, the shaved eyebrows, the sullen and sunken eyes and that evil smirking smile. But I have noted something else also. Looking at the mug shot of Jared Loughner, is to stare into the eyes of evil.
Not since I stared into the eyes of Manson, have I felt that same coldness and absence of human spirit. On the one hand, to look at this murderer is to look at the face of youth. A youth contorted and twisted by a disease of the mind so deep and unimaginable, as to run chills down the spine. I find myself hearing the voice of Heath ledger's characterization of the Joker, swooning to the camera "why so serious?"
I also see the same arrogance and cockiness that I saw over four decades ago, when I looked into the eyes of another assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. The similarities are striking in my opinion, complete in detail down to the swollen left eye.
A recently famous line from the film Gladiator finds Russel Crowe saying "I once knew a man who said death smiles at all of us. All we can do is smile back." In a twisted sense, that is similar to the feelings that I sense when I look into the eyes of a Charles Manson, or Lee Harvey Oswald, or Jared Loughner. There are others. Those each notorious for their heinous acts and when you think of them and consider their faces, you see the same twisted smirks glaring back at you.
Evil smiles at all of us in my opinion. And when we look into the eyes of a Jared Loughner we can see that evil. Smiling, smirking, confident in the knowledge that it instills fear by it's very presence.
The one comforting thought to me, is that in most instances, the victims of evil such as this, never get to see or have time to study the faces of the death and evil that stalks them. I consider that a blessing. To think that the precious little nine year old girl who was killed by this animal, saw as her last visage of this earth, the smirking face of an evil such as Jared Loughner. That is something that I don't even want to consider.
So as the days and weeks pass and the case against this evil and diseased young man progresses, contemplate the evil present when you look into his eyes. For you are seeing the very essence of pure unadulterated evil staring back at you. Then consider this. What could posses a human being to these extremes of horror and sickness? The answer to that might trouble you when you truly consider it. What possesses these individuals is the same thing that you see when you gaze upon them. Their possession is evil.
And as it was in Jesus' day, it remains to this day. Men and women are possessed of demons and the devil that spawns them. And there is only one cure for their possession. Either death, or the presence of all mighty God brought down around them as it was in Jesus' day. When he called forth demons and cast them out of those afflicted.
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!" For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!"
Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?"
"My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many."
And that evil that existed in Jesus' time remains to this day. That evil exist in the black hearts of men as they prowl the earth looking for the means to express the evil that they are. We saw that evil expressed once again in Tucson last week.
I literally believe that if Loughner were to be asked his name by Jesus, the answer might very well be 'I am Legion' and we have met before.