Saturday, December 15, 2012

Light In Darkness

I cried when I heard there was a shooter at Clackamas mall. The next day I was upset because there was a lock down at Evergreen High School due to a teacher finding a rifle in a student's backpack.

And yesterday...

How do you react to the horrific news of young children, and the adults caring for them, being shot to death while they are in an environment that is supposed to be safe? Where children are enjoying their peers, and learning from their teachers to be able to grow into intelligent adults.

How do you react to the reports of the little kids who hid in terror and the heroic efforts of the teachers to protect them and their own lives?

How do you react to the news of the principal losing her life trying to stop the gunman? Or the young teacher who hid the children of her class in a closet and then stood between them and the gunmen?

So utterly senseless.

I have seen and heard one way people are reacting...people want answers. They want the "Why?" answered. Investigative reporters have spent the last two days searching for the answer to that question. They've heard opinions, and have also discovered the gunman had altercations with four of the staff at the school.

Okay, a big enough altercation to take the lives of innocent children? Still doesn't answer the why for me. There is not a good enough reason for a twenty year old guy to do something so horrendous.

Yet...this seems to becoming an answer for so many people. Murder, suicides and shootings, when will it stop?

Now we are left to grieve for those whose lives were lost and for those who lost the ones they love. To grieve for those who don't get to tuck their precious babies into bed tonight and don't get to watch them as they sleep. Kiss their cheeks or feel their sweet arms wrap around their necks. And for those who don't get to share that one last kiss with someone they love...why? Because of senseless violence.

Today, we went downtown and watched Santa arrive on a steam engine train. He was waving at the crowds and all of us were waving back. When I watched my daughter and her friends wave and smile, I fought the wave of emotion that struck me and was quick to wipe at the tears that sprung to my eyes when I realized how blessed I was to watch this moment of her life.

This is a time of year where people are expected to celebrate. Expected to be joyful and party. But many across this country are mourning, not celebrating. They don't get to see their loved ones open the gifts they bought for them on Christmas day.

An article by Max Lucado hit on a story in the Bible that I really hate to read. It is such a heart wrenching story that it makes me wonder how someone could be so cruel.

But today it actually gave me a light in this very dark situation.

When Herod found out that a King was born named Jesus, he sent men out to kill every male child under the age of TWO in the area! Joseph was warned in a dream. So he took Mary and Jesus and took of to Nazareth.

When I read this story I can't help but imagine the entire scene. Soldiers forcing their way into homes and killing the child on the spot and the parents knocked to their knees in grief.

The evil of that story is so hard for my mind to wrap around just like the evil that has happened across our land is hard for me to deal with.

Yet...it is so clear to me how important it was for Jesus to come to this world. To walk among His people, His creation and show them how to live in His love. How to treat others. How to love God with all of our hearts, minds, and souls and to love our neighbor as ourselves. To empower us to be kind, patient, giving, loving, hopeful, good...because we are sinful and sin spreads...it hurts those close to us and others who cross our path.

When He came to the world, it was dark and full of violence just as we experience it today. He was with them in the darkness. Immanuel - God is with us.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Linda, thank you for expressing the thoughts of so many others so eloquently. Thank you for the reminder of the Herod story and the greatest reminder that Jesus, our Immanuel, came to give hope to all of us. Carol