There are so many effected by the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut last week and Sandy Hook Elementary School. Certainly, those most directly effected are the families who lost loved ones in the shooting. Everyone responds to trauma and the pain it causes in different ways.
One of the hardest things to do is to press through the pain, but often that is the healthiest way to find strength and comfort. To face the pain takes a tremendous resolve and courage. It takes the determination to not let someone else's poor and tragic choices define who we are in our lives or in our response. Many things and other persons are out of our control, but we can control ourselves. We determine how to remember those we have lost. We determine how we are choosing to face the future. We determine whether we can extend forgiveness to others that have so hurt us so we can be controlled by love rather than fear and anger.
I encourage you to watch the video of a news conference held by Robbie Parker, a father of one of the children who was killed. His courage reflect on the joy of his daughter and to express love to others, even the shooter's family; was a significant step taken on a long road to healing for him and his family.
Pain is an inevitable part of our lives. No one in their right mind enjoys pain or seeks for pain. However, we can find hope in our pain. We can hope and pray that the weeping that will last many nights for the families in Newtown will uncover mornings that come with the miracle of joy that will come even when life does not make sense.
I hope these words can bring some strength and encouragement to you.
Pastor Doyle DeGraw, Fresh Start at Stony Brook (Christ Community Church)