God is in comforting acts of kindness

The tragedy in the little town of Newton, Conn., gripped our hearts and tore apart a whole nation. Our first outcry was, “Why? Where is God?” We are faced with the reality that, truly, evil exists in the world. And it visited Sandy Hook Elementary School that day with a vengeance.

Bewildered, heartbroken parents and families are trying to pick up the pieces — they just won’t go back together. Too many holes in too many hearts. And we still can’t answer why.

The president, the governor, educators, counselors, pastors, priests all search for words to comfort the broken hearts. Yes, ultimately, without fail, we find ourselves calling upon God to bring the healing. The words “faith, prayer, love, God” are on the lips of reporters who fight back tears, trying to report the facts, seeking to share the burden of the pain.

We feel pressed to find a solution.

“This kind of tragedy must be stopped,” we hear. But what is the solution? Tighter security? More guards at school entries? More laws? This all seems so futile.

But there is a solution — it’s called love. Tears flowing unashamedly, tender embraces from strangers and friends alike, somber faces sharing one another’s grief, lighted candles representing the lives of those lost, banks of flowers, white crosses, small shrines created with little angels, toys by the truckload coming from all parts of the country, teddy bears by the hundreds — endless acts of love.

That force does not fail. And God was there in every act of love. We only have a horrible crime scene in our imaginations. But day after day, hour after hour, churches throughout the nation have greater than usual crowds offering prayers, lighting candles through tears for those they don’t even know. People everywhere are trying to think of one more way to say we care.

Our hearts are united in grief, but no less united. This is how we change the world. Overcome evil with good. God pours out His love. He has done His part. If we let Him fill our hearts with love and let that overflow to others, then we have done our part.

No doubt some dads pick up their children and hold them on their laps a little longer. A mom bends down and look lovingly into the face of her child while the child was talking to the most important person in their life. Perhaps those parents thought they were too busy last week.

The little town in Connecticut that most of us had never heard of has brought us to a higher plane. Let’s not forget!

On the night before Christmas, the little children of that community might not be having visions of sugarplums dance through their heads. Their minds are instead wrenched with confusion and unanswered questions, of losing their little friends, the little children who sat next to them in class or came to their house after school to play.

Let’s take a new look at how we are filling our children’s minds. Instead of putting before them violent visions and disturbing scenes from sick movies and video games we let them play, allowing them in their imagination to inflict pain on others, we need to provide them with something better.

Our children need fresh air and sunshine, and wholesome, nurturing entertainment. How about, for Christmas, a basketball, a tetherball and a better way of life?

— Patricia Farris, publisher

Story First Published: 2012-12-19