December 17, 2012

A Star Still Shines

Periodically, I  purchase a caffeine free diet Coke when I get gasoline. Today when I paid for my drink, the familiar clerk asked, "How are you today?"

"I am doing well.  I don't think anyone can complain after yesterday." I replied.

"Yes, yesterday was such a beautiful day." the clerk answered.

I stopped for a moment, depositing my change, and thought, his perspective is clearly  different from mine. I  expected a comment related to the horrific school shootings, but his perspective was the great sunny day in mid-December with temperatures near 50, which is unusual in Indiana.

Perhaps the shootings were extra close to my heart because my oldest daughter is an elementary school teacher in Colorado. I know how passionate she is about teaching and how dearly she loves her students. I texted her immediately when I heard about the tragedy and she texted back how hard the day was , so far away from the school in Connecticut, but so close in circumstance.

Perspective influences how we respond to such events. I noticed in news clips toward the evening that several churches in the small Connecticut town were having services so that people could come together, to mourn and look to God for compassion, love, and companionship that will be needed in the days, weeks, months and even years ahead. The Fishers United Methodist church was open from 7-9 Friday night with one of the pastors available for discussion and prayer.  

Looking to God, not necessarily for answers to unanswerable questions, but for comfort and strength to work through the shock and horror of events that happen far too often, is the only way to walk through the varied emotions and deep grief present in families who suffer loss.  

Tomorrow will be the third Sunday in Advent -- the image that is with me today is the star over the stable -- we might name our stable, but the bright star that was so clear that night, still beckons all to come, to come to the one is life, and light, and love.

Let everyone pray not only for families touched in any way by the shootings at the school, but for all priests, pastors, rabbis, and other religious leaders who will offer care to these individuals.

Jacquie Reed 
Fishers, Indiana

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