Originally Published: March 5, 2018 6:01 a.m.
We watch with horror the news coverage of mass murders of school children and then, with further disbelief, the fall-out of blame, outrage, prayers, opinions, accusations, analysis and all manner of political warfare.
Have an idea? A microphone? Then go ahead; tell us why this is happening, how our culture is responsible, how this country has changed, how messed up we are, and don’t forget to blast your thoughts on social media.
Have an opinion? Okay, tell the world. Have a solution? We are all waiting. But no reasonable dialogue can be had with pundits screaming, fingers pointing and anger mounting.
Even so, we have reason to be angry. Such a tragedy shouldn’t be happening, again, in the greatest country in the world. Our kids should have a safe haven in their schools, a place to learn that’s free of threat, certainly free of deadly danger.
Weeks like this weigh on all of us. We love our country, our communities, our children. So we turn to God and ask, “Why?” And by the way, God, where the heck are you? Need a little help down here!
A young girl in my church asked the minister if she should worry if she will die before God wants her. He said, “God never leaves your side and always wants you. Have no fear.”
Fear. I never thought about it too much, but now, as I get older, fear is on my mind. Guess I am not alone, either. More people today are considering home schooling their kids, not venturing out into “crowded places” and avoiding “dangers” like shopping or eating out at night. Please say it isn’t so.
Psychologists say that when terror strikes, it can help to look for the goodness in our everyday life — the neighbor helping neighbor, people selflessly sharing with those less fortunate, caregivers who give their all to those who are ill and in need, first responders and law enforcement officers who put their own lives at risk to make our lives better, teachers who help our kids learn, grow and achieve.
Seek out goodness, like my neighbor’s chicken. She found a litter of abandoned kittens; now she sits on them all day. On a ranch nearby, a big rescue horse named Max was dejected and alone in his stall until a little barn goat named Milly encouraged him to go out into the arena and walk with her every day. Birds from thousands of miles away fly to our backyard birdfeeders. Life’s beauty surrounds us.
Coaches and parents spend hours teaching kids how to throw or kick a ball. Communities organize festivals and events to bring us together, so we can celebrate life. Churches teach us love and inclusion. Sports activities push us to try harder, in a spirit of friendly competition.
We are a nation of fun-loving, God-fearing, strong, talented, divided, vocal and wonderful people. We disagree. We are passionate. We join forces. We want the best for one another.
And sometimes, in our darkest hours, we fight. We yell. We pray. But mostly, we help each other. Keep the faith.
Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local Realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org.