March 1, 2012
A Big Lesson from Such a Big Tragedy
Just about an hour away from my hometown a tragedy struck a high school in Chardon, OH this past Monday. Three innocent kids died from a school shooting while 2 other were seriously injured. I guess realizing that this happened so close to where I grew up, really hit me hard. Plus it's also a town that I went to for church camp when I was younger. The tragedy of a school shooting, I feel, hits everyone hard. It's the place you expect to see your kids safe and to get an education. Just thinking of my little boy who is at home and safe now really gets me thinking about how difficult it will be for me to let him go to school for the first time. I've even questioned about home schooling. I know, however, that eventually when he's an adult I will have to cut the strings and let him make his own choices and his own way in life. It just saddens me to think that tragedies like this can happen at such a seemingly innocent place. Not just here, there's also the Kent State shooting, Virginia Tech, of course the Columbine shootings, and more.
Today I was reading an article and in it the mother of one of the victims made statements that really hit home with me. She actually FORGIVES this troubled person who felt the need to create these tragedies. When asked what she would say to the kid who committed these murders she stated, "I would tell him I forgive him because, a lot of times, they don't know what they're doing. That's all I'd say.". She continued, "I taught Demetrius not to live in the past, to live in today and forgiveness is divine. You have to forgive everything. God's grace is new each and every day," she said. "Until you've walked in another person's shoes, you don't know what made him come to this point." It's just amazing to me that someone who lost someone so close and special to her can actually say she forgives. Not that I don't think she should because I definitely agree that God wants everyone to forgive everyone no matter what. It's just it seems easy to say that you would but when and if something this extreme happens, how will it really be? I know for me it would be near impossible. At least at first. I mean to be honest, it's hard not to get angry and upset over the person who cut you off on the road, or the cook who forgot to cook your food all the way through. Even more, I think of how many times I get angry at family and/or friends. I've gone days without speaking to some because of something they did or said that upset me. I eventually forgive, but even then it sometimes takes me a couple days. I can't imagine how I would feel under these circumstances.
After reading this, it made me take a good hard look at how my outlook on life has been. I need to focus my life on those that matter most and forgive as often as the lord would. I know being human and sinner such as myself that it will not always be easy, but I will definitely try. After all everything is in God's hands. I may not always understand or agree with what happens, but I need to trust God. I also need to try my hardest to live the way our Lord would. Which means to forgive even when it seems like the last reasonable thing to do.
Thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the Chardon shooting.
You can read about the article I referenced here