“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.” – Helen Keller
We in the United States are still reeling in the wake of the senseless shooting spree by a Connecticut gunman who killed his mother, then killed 20 children and six adults at a school before killing himself last Friday. The tragedy was so horrible that many of us still cannot fully comprehend it. We think about the innocent children ages 6 and 7 who were killed along with the adults and we ask “Why?!”
My initial thought was to wait a few days and write a blog post about something else rather than deal with this horrific incident. But if I want to be a Woman Making Strides, I must be proactive and address matters that I feel strongly about. The lives that were lost mattered.
The tragedy makes me see that the mission of Women Making Strides is all the more important.
- We need to appreciate the lives we have been given.
- We each need to take care of our body, mind, and spirit.
- We need to accept challenges.
- We need to have faith and use our talents to better the world.
Imagine if the perpetrator of the crime had taken care of his mind and spirit by praying every day and saying positive affirmations. Imagine if he had appreciated his life and respected the lives of others. Imagine if whatever made him do this was something that he decided he could deal with instead of thinking, “My life is so bad. I’m going to lash out and kill!” Imagine if he had thought, “I am going to use my talents to better the world.” Imagine if he had chosen to spread light rather than darkness.
This is of course a simplistic way of looking at the tragedy. It may appear that I am looking at the crime in hindsight and saying, “I have the solution to prevent such tragedies.” No, I don’t have the solution. I cannot tell you what was in the shooter’s mind when he killed his mother, when he killed the children and adults at the school, or when he killed himself. Maybe he was so mentally ill that he could not make better decisions. But I think a person who truly lives like a Woman Making Strides is not likely to commit such a destructive act.
We cannot change anyone but ourselves, and we cannot undo what happened in Connecticut. However, we can choose how we live our lives. We can choose to spread light or we can choose to spread darkness.
We are not shooting anybody, but we do spread darkness sometimes. Maybe we get irritable and snap at people. Maybe we have road rage. Maybe we feel sorry for ourselves. We are human and we make mistakes.
We are the leaders in our own lives, so let’s try to shine light and dispel the darkness in the world. We are not perfect but we can apologize to people we have offended. We can smile at the next person we see. We can think about what we are grateful for today. We can pray and ask God to help us. We can create, rather than destroy.
We can be grateful for our lives and respectful of the lives of others. We can take care of our body, mind, and spirit so our bad feelings don’t spiral out of control. We can believe we have something to offer the world and we can use our talents. We can decide to be proactive and we can have faith.
If we do all these things, we will be role models for others and we will be spreading light instead of darkness. Let us honor the children and the adults who lost their lives in the Connecticut massacre by living our lives as best we can.
Romans 13:12b says, “Let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” What is one thing you can do today to spread light instead of darkness?
* Note: I have been told that WordPress is putting an inappropriate ad on this post. I will try to have it removed. Meanwhile, please ignore it for now. Thank you.
Thanks for this post. So many people need to take this stance in life. I hugged my son tighter this weekend. As a children’s minister I prayed with the children yesterday. I hugged all of them and shed a tear thinking it could have been one or all of them. My prayers are with the families in Connecticut.
Susan, that post was absolutely beautiful. I think you worded your thoughts exactly as I felt, and beyond that. Thank you for being proactive and responding to this horrific, incomprehensible event. We need to fall to our knees as a nation and embrace hope and God’s grace.
Today I will try to live out the reading we heard in church yesterday:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Phil 4:4-7
Sue – Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. What a great inspiration to remind us to be the light we want to see in the world. It is sad that many of us don’t take the time to realize what’s important in life until some type of tradegy hits us. I applaud you for taking a risk and writing about this sad story and turning it into something we can all learn from.
Sue, I also found your words very inspiring and beautiful as well as on point. Thanks, Ann
I am uplifted by every one of these comments. Thank you for sharing inspiration and hope.
Amen to all you said. If we would only be the light the darkness would retreat. Thanks for your convicting words.
What a wonderfully inspiring blog you have. I’ll have to come back when I have more time. Until then, have a Merry Christmas! I’ll subscribe by email. 🙂
Thank you! Merry Christmas to you and all.
It’s a sad world we live in. You only have to look at the nightly news. All we can do is try our best as individuals, to love, to cherish, and to not do harm
Thank you for following my blog, Susan.
Robert, thank you for following mine, too. It is fun getting to know writers like you.