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Showing posts from December, 2012

God's Role in All of This

There has been a lot of talk about God's role in the Newtown, Connecticut shootings.  I have no more (but no less) a direct line to God than anybody else, but these things I know about God.  Others have been saying these things before me, but they bear repeating.
This tragedy in Newtown was not "all part of God's plan," and it didn't happen because "God wanted another little angel."  We as human beings have free will.  The shooter made his decisions to kill children and adults, not God.  We also have free will in how we respond.  Go listen to the early interview with the father of Emilie Parker: "The person that chose to act this way was acting with a God-given right to use his free agency and God can’t take that away ... that’s what he chose to do with it. I’m not mad [at God, I'm assuming]. I have my own agency to use this event to do whatever I can to make sure my wife and daughters are taken care of."  Robert Parker has it absolutel…

Sunday's Prayer

This past Sunday our church had a pageant planned, that we went forward with.  Mindful that it was an intergenerational service, I carefully crafted a prayer that would address the tragedy in Newtown, but without explaining the context to young ears that might not have heard of events yet.  This is what I wrote:

Spirit of Life,
Our hearts are heavy and full, our minds confused and anxious, our spirits burdened and troubled.At times like this, we are grateful to come together in religious community, to hold the hands of those we love, to see the smiles and laughter on the faces of the young, and to recommit ourselves to the work of the world, the task of building love in this community and elsewhere. We take comfort in the circle of community, and in the stories of helpers and heroes.Fred Rogers, Mr. Rogers, said, in words that have been shared much recently: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You wil…

Thanks for Teachers

As we hear the stories coming out of Newtown, Connecticut, one of the stories we're hearing is about the heroism of teachers.  The stories are being shared of the teachers who died and how their last actions were to try to save their children, and the teachers who survived and how they ushered their children to safety, keeping them quiet, secure, calm, and safe in closets and bathrooms.

I have a school-aged daughter.  My husband and I made the decision to talk to her about the tragedy in Newtown, because she's old enough that she'll look over and read the headlines or hear someone talking.  We keep news sources around us--a daily newspaper, a weekly news magazine, a news radio station--and she was bound to hear about it somewhere.  Other parents, with different habits or younger children, might effectively shield their children from the news, but we knew we couldn't.  So she knew a little bit about it when we sent her off to school again this morning.  And it was a nor…