I was afraid of Richard when I was growing up. Richard was the Bomb Boy. He made bombs in his garage, and blew them up in the empty field by the creek. His specialty was the crafting of pipe bombs, made with sections of steel pipe and match heads. He would set them off with firecrackers, they made a big explosion. Richard was working in his garage one day, making the biggest pipe bomb yet, and he was hammering the end of it shut with a hammer.
When Richard got out of the hospital, he only had one hand and one kidney, he walked funny and was blind in one eye. The sight of him limping down the street always gave me the willies. He did a bad thing, and he paid the price. I had done things just as dumb, but I was luckier than Richard. Maybe God liked me, I thought. Maybe Richard was bad and deserved his fate.
There are hundred of thousands of bomb boys (and girls) now. None of them are any better or worse people than Richard. They didn't make their own instruments of self-destruction. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe God doesn't like them. I don't know what God thinks.