Friday, December 14, 2012

What To Do About Newtown?

I’m undone.  Torn up.  What can we do with the tragedy in Connecticut?

Well, here’s what’s happening with me.  I’m grieving.  Deeply. And loving just as deeply. I would like to be with those families in Newtown.  I know that I’m sharing in the feelings and care of God, who has united himself with me.  I’ve asked him how he feels about the tragedy—I haven’t assumed that I know.  I’ve talked with Him about it, and I’m feeling what he’s feeling.  He is in me right now, caring and loving and longing.  That’s how he is, and I fit with him perfectly.  I’m paying attention to that fit, I’m turning my thoughts to him, listening and feeling for him.  And it’s good.  It’s genuine—no need for pretended compassion because there’s plenty with him.  I’m knowing Jesus, and he is my treasure, a Treasure that does amazing things to me.

And in this, I have decided to not wring my hands and exhaust myself with trying to figure out what exactly caused the young man to shoot people.  No explanation of this world will be sufficient, right?  It won’t add up.  It won’t make sense.  I know this is evil—nothing less.  Nothing more.  Satan has been directing his influence at us for a long, long time.  That’s not going to stop soon unless the Mayans were correct.  All over the world, guns or no guns, we’re going to look and do awful things fairly regularly.  I’m also wary (maybe weary) of looking at this through a wide-angle lens.  There will be many (politicians, preachers and professionals) who will say that this is a “national problem,” an evidence of a “societal disease” brought on by video-games, Facebook relationships, the breakdown of the family, abortion, welfare, etc., etc., etc.  They’ll want to legislate something corrective upon everybody, which almost always falls most heavily upon those who had nothing to do with it.  Some will feel better by doing something—Anything!—and I’ll understand that.  But I’ll know that’s dealing with symptoms, not curing it.

We cannot cure ourselves.  History proves it!  As long as we continue to deny it by our efforts, we’ll prefer failure and frustration.  And tragedy.  Our hope, yours and mine, is that we take Jesus’ offer seriously—“Choose Me, and I will make you my home, providing everything you need for life and godliness.  Really.  And I’ll do it for free!”  As we get used to believing him about how he is, where he is (at home in us), and what he is capable of from where he is, our attraction to him will grow and his love for us and through us will be obvious.  We’ll know.  And so will others.  Like those in Newtown, Connecticut.

These verses apply to me as much as to anyone. In fact, I find them more inviting today than most other days: 

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

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