Monday, December 17, 2012

Newtown, CT: it was a good confused


Friday was an unusual day for me.  It began early in the morning at the doctor’s office with one of my children that had the flu.  The rest of the day was spent resting, thinking and finally watching the horror unfold of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut with 20 children murdered and 6 adults by one man.

As we watched the news reports come in my wife and I were in pain with the heart break that so many families and friends felt as precious life was ripped from them.

How do we respond to this?  The tears are real.  I wasn’t there, but my heart was there.  The pain is so real.  How can we respond to this act of terror? 

O my people, trust in him at all times.  Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.

First, realize sin is rampant in our world, and people need the forgiveness and hope God offers.

Second, this is not a time for blame or of upping protection, but it is a time of reassuring and loving the people around us.  God gave us family and friends

Third, people need to hear our story of how God has been real to us.  In times of stress, God has given me peace.  In times of heartache, God has been my counselor and comfort.  In times fear and struggle, God gives me strength and unconditional love.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

There are few answers, but God is real.  My friend and fellow church leader Bruce Morgan wrote the follow passage about this weekend. 

"It Was A Good Confused" by Bruce Morgan

So, for the record, December has now gone three for three in outstanding weekends.  I stood in a room in Richmond, Va. Saturday evening surrounded by men and women dedicated to making others smile and fueled by a room filled with laughter.  But as the stage cleared I must admit to have such joy at the end of a week with such tragedy was a bit confusing...

The school bus door opened and before 2nd grader Amy's new black shoes could even touch the ground she had been scooped into her Grandfather's awaiting arms and hugged so tightly.  Normally, he just waited in his car for her to come over off the bus...it was a bit confusing

Mark, a junior in high school, watched his successful businessman father, Jerry, come in from work.  He touched his wife's cheek gently and walked to the kitchen table depositing his briefcase in route and literally grabbed his son up from the table by the shoulders.  "Hey" exclaimed Mark as he looked into his father's eyes and saw tears streaming down both cheeks. Jerry hugged him and whispered in his ear..."I love you son". Mark slowly embraced his dad while looking at his mother with eyes that read it was a bit confusing.

Jenny stretched her legs out on the couch as her son and daughter climbed onto the couch and said: "Can we really stay up til 10:00 tonight?"   "Yes, yes you can" came the reply through teary eyes and they settled in for an extra movie.  She noticed her children's glance at one another ...it was a bit confusing.

For all over this divinely created nation in homes from rich to poor and from east to west parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and close friends have taken a moment from their normally overworked schedules to recognize what is important and to express in clear terms how much they value their priceless gifts.  And in as much, this nation has begun to do what it always does in times of great crisis and unspeakable tragedy.  It has reached into it's soul and found the greater good, offered comfort to the wounded, love to its fallen and along the way has created a nation of young people who have decided as only kids can "that it was a good confused."

I agree with Bruce that what really matters needs to be what we spend time on.  What really matters is people, our families, our kids and the people around us.  I am still confused over why such a tragedy happens, but God is still God.  People need God.  It is a good confused because times such as this this makes us refocus on what or who really matters. 

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happy birthday, Julie

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