Aurora tragedy, Earthquakes, Encouragement, Hope, Jeff Goins, Juan of Words, senseless violence

The Earthquake in Aurora, USA.

Rockford Register, OK

The senseless violence and tragedy this past Friday has left millions of people hurt, confused, and numb for words. I’ve been one of them. 

After a few hours of watching CNN and other news sources I marveled at the articulation of some of the  witnesses who were able to think through that horror, to move, to empathize with other victims, to apologize for not saving someone, and then for not stopping the gunman.

 I feel like we had a 6.0 earthquake in America.  

The foundations of life shaken, jolted and jarred-again. There have been shootings in all of the places we used to think were havens of safety: churches, schools, playgrounds, at funerals, our work place, the shopping malls, and the movie theater. 

Late last Friday afternoon I unplugged. T.V, radio, internet, newspaper-ignored. I needed to regroup, connect to my kids and myself,  feel the feelings before I went on. Three days later, the outpouring of pain resulting from the massacre and the lives changed forever still makes a large lump in my throat. 

After 24 hours I went back on to Facebook, saw the hundreds of tribute banners and clicked off. I began to read my blog roll and sure enough there were some on the subject of Aurora, Colorado’s tragedy.

But I found two posts, written on the day of the tragedy, that touched me. These writers were able to articulate much of what I felt and for that I’m appreciative, as it helped me to process the ‘un-process-able,’ at least for a while. 

“Embrace today, for tomorrow is not guaranteed,” wrote Juan of Words

“Every day is an opportunity to tell somebody we love them..To give and get the embraces we’ve been longing for…To make our children feel special.  To teach them love and compassion.  Above hatred and violence.” 

A similar message from Jeff Goins “When the Pain of the World is Too Much to Bear.”

“Years ago, I was in that town, playing a concert with my band. We were at a church, performing for a small audience of youth on a Friday night. I wonder if any of them were in that movie theater? Who knows.

When tragedy strikes, you can go around and around like this, driving yourself crazy with the “what if”s. It’s natural, but unhelpful, and it doesn’t soothe the pain of a broken world.

I’m not trying to be overly optimistic here; I’m not looking for the Pollyanna thread in all of this. I’m just trying to breathe…

In the darkest times, hope is all we have to cling to. It’s an unexpected grace in a time of uncertainty — when we’re not sure we can take another step. And for some, it’s just enough to go on. 

Hope, that’s what I needed to hear and remember. In the midst of tragedy, as in earthquakes, people do rebuild, as difficult and excruciating as that may be for the victim’s and their families. 

Hope is what drives us as we stumble forth and put one foot in front of the other, sometimes leaning back and sometimes leaning on, making our way in life by reaching out to others and reaching in to whatever it is that helps us move into another day.  

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