"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you" (Philippians 4:7-9 NIV).
This is a lesson that somehow we humans seem to learn the "best" in times of tragedy. In those times we see the best of the best rise to the top: the teachers who tell their young students, "I love you very much." in case (and in fact) it will be the last words they ever hear; the first responders, who witness such an unspeakable, indescribable, unbelievable "crime scene" yet do their jobs with honor and professionalism. Those are the ones who walk the earth in purity, loveliness. The parents of slain children who are not angry at their child's murderer - those are the one who are admirable and praiseworthy.
Even in the midst of our own disbelief, horror and grief over the murder of 20 children, we can find hope that God sent to earth some of his beloved, to transcend all understanding by their actions--so in love with their fellow man that they don't even think about the consequences of stepping between a child and mentally ill gunman; so noble and admirable that they don't hesitate to give their lives to save another.
More than that, there are countless good and gracious, strong and noble people on this earth. I had almost lost that truth . . . until I turned off the television and opened my bible. I heard enough in three days about the courageous and selfless to know that God is, indeed, alive and that he stoops down from heaven to touch our lives through the people we meet and the experiences we have.
I stated recently that I will never understand pure evil - but I also could never begin to grasp the pure goodness and light that is God. This truth gives me hope. Hope that even in a fallen world, good always triumphs over evil; love always wins over hate; peace and grace always endure over anger and revenge.
I am still numb over the mass killing in CT of so many beautiful, angelic babies. But they are with God now, and their lives had a purpose and meaning and value here on earth. I have already seen parents, friends and family members make profound changes in their lives to honor those who are in heaven. That is proof enough for me that God lives in and with each and every one of us.
I am unable to comprehend how parents so ravaged by grief could even go on. Then I remember Jesus on the Cross--perfect humanity/divine majesty. God lives. He came to earth as a tiny baby and lives forever in heaven.
That is comfort enough for now. I do not know what tomorrow brings, but I know who is waiting there.
Blessings on your journey, Mary