With the exception of the weekly LOST viewing, I hardly ever watch TV. So tonight, having finished packing all my belongings earlier and deciding to wait until tomorrow morning to make the U-Haul-ladden trek to Chattanooga, I atypically sat down on the couch and turned on the TV to watch some prime time and zone out for an hour or so. CSI at 9:00pm. And then… the most unexpected thing.

Almost a year ago, a close high school and college friend of mine, Leslie Mazzara, along with one of her roommates, was murdered in their home in Napa Valley, California. It was brutal and shocking, both that a double murder could occur in a sleeply town like Napa, and, of course more personally, that someone had stabbed my friend to death. While I know this won’t be the last time I encounter the death of someone I know well, it was the first time and it shook me up and made me cry and made me feel numb and angry and a million other emotions that I still can’t quite get a hold of if I think about it too much.

And it all came rushing back tonight when I stumbled across almost 30 minutes of coverage on the murders on Primetime ABC, mainly consisting of an interview with the 3rd roommate, who escaped unharmed. I sat on the couch, mouth open, not really believing I was seeing all this again. And finding out that after almost a year of investigating, Napa police have arrested a suspect based on (of all the CSI-tie-ins) a peculiar brand of cigarettes found at the scene and DNA samples.

The Napa Wine Country sleeps a little better. One very sick young man, whose arraignment begins next week, will most likely get the death penalty. One young girl still struggles with a head full of questions and what if’s and memories of that night. My friend is still dead. I still don’t know what all these emotions are that are assaulting me from every direction. I am reminded of the capacity for evil that dwells in every human heart. And I am prayerful that truth and love and Christ can shed light and HOPE into a very broken world.