Tough Times

 It’s been a tough period of time for me since the reunion in October.  I lost three dear friends, one in her 70’s, one in his 80’s and one in her 90’s.   In this day and age we ought to live through our 70’s the way I see it.  These three were all great lives, well lived.  It was easy to rate the quality of these people by looking at the hundreds of folk that showed up to celebrate their lives.  I’ll miss them all.

Then last Friday, December 14th, in one senseless act, a mentally deranged young man snuffed out 27 young lives including 20 babies.  My mind and heart screamed: “Why?  Why?”  I wish I had an answer but I don’t.

There is an old saying that goes something like “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plan.”  There is no humor in the tragedy of December 14th, but this adage illustrates how little we truly understand about God’s presence in our lives.

That human beings die is no great revelation.  That many die far too young is no great surprise either.  We can only look at the lives of those lost to see how much they gave to us.

How can such little children have so much impact on the rest of us?  Think about it for a moment. 

 For a few days we found out just how good and loving we could be.  Human beings, not just Americans but people from all over the world, reached out to those who lost the most.  There was no thought of compensation or adulation. It was just people doing their best to be loving care givers when they were most needed.

Perhaps that is the message in all of this, finding out just how good and loving we can be.  If we can do it in a moment of tragedy why can’t we do it once in a while just to prove it can be done?

In this season of the year when we think about giving and receiving gifts let us take a moment to remember that life itself is a gift.  We  receive life from love without asking for it and the greatest gift we can give is love.

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