We are gradually finding out quite a bit about this Andreas. Apparently he suffered from depression. It was debilitating enough for the 27-year-old to receive treatment. We are aware he had a “sick pass” so he would not need to fly the day of the crash. We know there are reports of vision problems—whether real or psychosomatic.
But standing out about these to me were the comments he purportedly made to a former girlfriend. In her words, he once said he was “planning a heinous act that will be remembered forever.” The woman, dubbed “Maria W,” expanded on this saying, “[He said], ‘One day I will do something that will change the whole system, and then all will know my name and remember it.’ I never knew what he meant, but now it makes sense.”
Lubitz learned to fly gliders at the age of 14. The New York Times reports that Klaus Radke, the president of the glider club, said “When I saw him as an adult compared to a youth, I thought, ‘He really amounted to something.’ He was confident, helpful. I thought, ‘Man, he’s someone who made it.’”
But his adult behavior was not so pleasant to Maria W. She said, “We spoke a lot about work and then he became another person. He became agitated about the circumstances in which he had to work, too little money, anxiety about his contract and too much pressure. During conversations he'd suddenly throw a tantrum and scream at me. I was afraid. He even once locked me in the bathroom for a long time.”
It is impossible to know how much his mental state led Andreas to commit his “heinous act.” What seems apparent, however, is that he was stable enough to make statements about wanting fame. He was rational enough to fly airplanes and function well with associates. And, at times, he apparently sought help. But not enough.
Thus, two very common attributes of human behavior left out of control come into focus: pride and selfishness. These forces, perhaps enhanced by a spiritual battle of which Lubitz was unaware, kept him from two important decisions. The first was to seek more help. The second, was to avoid the totally self focused act of taking the lives of 149 other souls to satisfy his longing to be remembered.
I’ve read nothing that would indicate he had a spiritual life. When the moral constraints of an individual rely solely on one’s own value system, why should we be surprised at such acts? Unless we are willing to be guided by the wisdom, understanding, and discernment that comes from our Creator, we operate on a different moral plane. So to speak.
Proverbs 16:18 (ESV) warns: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” And as for being remembered, Psalm 34:16 (ESV) states: “The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.”
May God help those families being tortured by the tragic ending of their loved ones. May God give comfort to the parents and family members of Andreas Lubitz, who also will be tortured by the memory of this terrible act. And may all of us remember that we are capable of acts much worse, were it not for the moral restraints offered us by a loving God.
The Lord is my Light. And my Salvation. Amen.
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