[I] will start this writing with a disclaimer of sorts. First I am speaking for myself and not for Joy Squared as a whole.  Secondly, I am reacting to a story that has not fully been told, where all the facts have not been determined and no one has been declared guilty in any court of law.  That being said, and by all appearances, Kelly Thomas, a 37 year old homeless man was savagely beaten to death at the hands of up to six Fullerton Police Department officers on July 5, 2011.  The details of this event have really just started to filter out as public outcry has escalated.  I understand that Mr. Thomas was stopped by the Fullerton police because he was suspected to be responsible for several car break-ins.  During the search of his belongings, he resisted the officers, other officers were called to the scene and Mr. Thomas was tazered several times.  Mr. Thomas who weighed in at 135 pounds was then beaten to death.

My heart breaks for Kelly, his family and society in general.  Let’s assume six police officers.  Let’s assume that and then wonder aloud why not one of them stepped in after the requisite resisting police beat down and simply said, “stop”.  Yes sometimes, it is can be understood with what they see day in and day out a police officer can be a bit rambunctious in the arrest of a resisting citizen.   My family knew of Mr. Thomas’s mental issues and struggles.  Our limited contact with him, be it an offer of a couple bucks for something to eat or my son’s purchasing and making him a sandwich when he worked at the deli was sufficient enough to inform us that Kelly was struggling.  A struggle he took with him anytime that he entered the City of Fullerton.  A struggle, which must have been understood by well, every Fullerton police officer.  A struggle, which could have and should have allowed for compassion, understanding, a respectful arrest and who knows, maybe the correct medication to calm the demons inside this man’s head.

It makes me think again of a story that I read or heard.  The story of the man who was walking along a dark street and is robbed and very badly beaten.  When asked later about the incident he tells of his attitude of gratitude.  When pressed as to how he could be grateful he says that he is grateful in that he was only beaten and not killed.  He says he is particularly grateful that he was the one that was beaten and not the one delivering the beating as he could not live with that.

My prayer is peace for the Thomas family as they come to grips with the death of a son whom they most assuredly loved dearly but could not help.  My prayer is for the police officers involved as they must live in and now suffer the consequences of being on the opposite end of the attitude of gratitude.  My prayer is for all of us to let this incident serve as a call to compassion, relationship, understanding and love.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways declares the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts”  Isaiah 55:8,9.

Maybe we will ask God a couple questions about Kelly when we get to heaven.  I suppose until then we can fall back on the book of Isaiah to know that we understand very little.