Last week I read an article in the newspaper here about an American man who had been arrested on charges of sexually abusing three Khmer boys that he claimed he had "adopted." The boys ranged in age from 10 to 15. Apparently the man had invited these boys to live with him, and he was supporting their families in various ways as well as paying for the boys to attend school.
The American man came to Cambodia in 2009. He came to volunteer. He came to volunteer at a children's hospital. He came to volunteer at a children's hospital because he is a pediatrician.
During his first several months here in 2009, this man kept a blog. And, I may have stumbled upon it last week after reading the article in the newspaper. I read his posts about navigating Phnom Penh, about eating spiders, about making friends, about visiting villages, about eating rice, about seeing patients with tropical diseases he had only seen in books previously.
And, I wondered. Was it a slow fade or a steep cliff? Was it a series of events or a single rash decision? How did he (or anyone) find himself in a state that rationalized being able to abuse children? My hunch is that no one wakes up one morning and suddenly decides to steal the innocence of children. My hunch is that it is a slow fade, that it sneaks up on them, that evil comes in through the cracks like smoke until everything inside suffocates. My hunch is that after awhile the senses get dulled to the wickedness, to the prowling lions.
"Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." ~ 1 Peter 5:8