I apologize this posting is delayed. I wrote and re-wrote this about fifteen times, trying to come up with the right words to say. Here is what I settled on:
I’ve struggled this week, trying to piece together a blog post about spreading God’s love against the horrific backdrop of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, last week. Emotions, arguments and words tumble through my mind as I look at my own children and wonder what, if anything, I can do to protect them. My heart breaks for the parents and loved ones of all involved. I wish I had words to describe my sympathy and sorrow. I wish I had answers.
Of course, everyone wants answers. Everyone wants a solution to this undefined problem. Almost instantaneously, impassioned arguments exploded across Facebook. Some argue for stricter gun control laws. Some insist we need to bring God back into schools. Some voice that perhaps all our woes will be solved if only there were better healthcare for the mentally disturbed. Yes, America is a nation of fixers. If something is broken, you can trust American ingenuity will set forth to right what is wrong. But what if there is no fix? What if we truly have no control in this struggle of good versus evil?
I believe evil exists. Evil has always existed. Evil was there before guns, before taking God out of schools, before healthcare debates. I don’t know how to stop the evil that plagues this world—and the thought has crossed my mind that perhaps none of us can stop it.
So what do we do with that? How do we proceed? Again, I have no answers, but this I vow: I will not allow evil to control me or take all hope from my soul. I will continue to wake every morning and go out into this world with the mission of loving those around me. I will not hide in shadows or barricade myself behind locked doors, hoping to make it through this life unharmed and unnoticed. No, I will go forth and try my best to shine with the light of love, and as much as it terrifies me at times, I will teach my children to do the same, because God does not call us to live sheltered lives, instead He calls us to go OUT into the world and be His light in the darkness.
Would stricter gun laws, bringing God back into school, or better healthcare alleviate part of the problem? I don’t know, and I am not here to debate. Now is not the time fight each other over differing world views—it is not the time to argue and persist in justifying a cause against those who oppose your opinion. There will be plenty of time for that in the coming weeks. Now is the time to grieve, to recognize evil for what it is, and help those afflicted heal in the aftermath. Do not give evil permission to distract us from our main purpose on this planet—to love and care for one another—with sensationalism and petty, emotion-based arguing.
So the Week 6 Giving Challenge is another simple one: Put aside your differences for a short while. Take time to grieve with this nation. Pray for those families who are mourning the loss of loved ones. Pray for this world. Do not be afraid of life. Go forth and shine with a light of love.
Take it Further:
If you are further moved to help those involved in this tragedy, you can reference this article by USA Today that provides links to different donation sites to help with funeral expenses, counseling services, and personal needs. Thank you, and God Bless!