Monday, November 24, 2008


Word came early Saturday that a friend of my brother's, Scott, was killed during a robbery in Reading. Scott died later Saturday as a result of the gunshot wound.

Apparently it happened quickly and brutally. Two gunmen stormed into Scott's shop, ordered the four barbers and two customers to the ground. Scott reached for a gun. One of them shot him in the head at close range.

Scott had been robbed before.

The cynic might say Scott should've been more careful than to operate a business in an area of Reading notorious for its roughness. The cynics don't know Scott.

Scott was a man who genuinely liked other people and who worked hard. How else does someone who is only 31 become so successful in a trade like that of a barber? More importanly, he had built himself into one of his neighborhood's most widely-known and respected figures. He was beloved by many. A kid from a farm in northern Chester County carves out a niche for himself among the people of an area in reading far more diverse than Knauertown, where he grew up. The guy was special.

The guy was murdered.

When I talked with my brother about it Saturday, all I could say was "Not a damn thing fair about it." That's what has moved around in my mind since Saturday. It's horribly unfair.

Unfairness happens. It strikes all - the happy and good, the miserable and sour. Unfairness might hit my family someday - I am a fortunate man. My faith in God instructs me to have faith in Him to keep us safe. But my faith in God also tells me to brace for the unfairness that could someday descend upon my home, and to raise my son and daughter to have the character to persevere through unfairness when it (hopefully never) befalls them.

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