Here's a picture of a benevolent looking old lady. The kind that might be someone's grandma, or aunt. The kind that gives lollipops to children, makes cucumber sandwiches for the village fete and occupies the pew of any chapel.
In fact, it's the face of evil. It was released by the Halifax police department in Nova Scotia on her release from prison last week for multiple killings and attempted murders of the men she befriended and married. They published it so no more men could be beguiled by her charms or succumb to her poisons in their food. She is banned from joining dating sites and has to inform the police of any new relationship she begins or if she makes any change to her appearance. Her nickname is the black widow.
Her face makes us ponder the following:
Do not judge people by their appearance. A man's dark skin does not make him a criminal, and a man's long beard does not render him a terrorist. When Samuel was selecting a future king of Israel, God reminded him that man bases his judgements on outward appearances, whereas God sees the heart.
A kindly face can mask a wicked heart. The human heart is deceitful above all things, says the prophet. Satan masquerades as an angel of light, and even false teachers have a form of godliness.
Human beings' propensity to sin is great. John Calvin called it depravity. We may not express it in the same violent way as she, but express it we do. Many believe humans are fundamentally good. The Bible is quite clear that the opposite is true. It's also clear that God's grace is greater than sin, even the black widow's, for
The vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.