Simply, there is no undoing what has been wrongly done, including the wrongs done in these two situations in Aurora and at Penn State. Yet, we all live in the present as we look to the future. There are few vacuums these days where information does not seep its way into our lives, so how do we turn the corners in these situations as individuals, communities, a culture and a nation?
1. Grieve and Mourn. The families of course must grieve. As a nation we should be grieving as well as more innocence has been lost along with the lives. The time has come right now to mourn with those who mourn. Moving forward requires assessing the present realities of the new normal. That doesn’t mean giving in to fear and violence, rather seeking solutions that exhibit bravery and peace. At the same time, some merit of justice is sought.
2. Challenge the status quo. Do not let fear from any source overcome or overwhelm you. The status quo often is to give in to fear and anger. Speak truth and life into all those who are around you. When you can, do it with actions and words. These days many would have us all succumb to fear. It need not be so. We can overcome evil with good and fear with faith. Stories like these give us encouragement to challenge fear: Marie’s Story & Petra’s Miracle.
3. Don’t give up on people. Grace abounds. Let it be so with us towards others. Always not only hold hope for people, but give them a chance to experience hope. Forgive. Then you can be ready to give more grace. Forgetting is another matter obviously. How can we forget the tragedies of Aurora or Penn State. Perhaps it’s best we DON”T forget, but take proactive steps to avoid such horrors. Forgiving sets us all free, while justice is still enacted.
Although this story in the video link about Jason McElway isn’t about horrors like in Aurora or Penn State, it is about a young man, autistic, who had suffered in areas of his life. His coach did not give up on him. We can find others to press and push forward who need Hope and Help. Jason McElway Hope Story Such acts of trust free us from living in horrors of the day for the rest of our lives.
4. Refuse to live with offense. Even known betrayal can only stop grace if you live in it. So. let’s not live out our lives in the betrayal of others or promote it accidentally. Let’s move towards the grace and justice issues that must and do come when such horrors are perpetrated. This will allow us all to live beyond the horrors of life.
5. Leave people better than we find them. Moving past horrors often is accomplished more quickly when we can begin again to find people to help. People have real problems and few of us have to look far to find someone to help. It’s therapeutic to give hope and help to someone who is hurting or in need. Just as we begin to feel the comforts of others and the Lord in our own sorrows and horrors, that sensation and reality can multiply as we reach out to others.
6. Cause people to love Jesus more when you leave them. I wanted to add this one into the discussion. At the core of who we are to be on this earth we find that reflecting Jesus to others is a most satisfying, healing and releasing element of our humanity. Our mission of activities to help others will lead others it’s so attractive. Lead well towards Grace, Peace, Mercy and Love…best exemplified by Jesus Christ.
A famous line from the movie Braveheart was,“They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!”
A persons natural life may be taken, In faith we can find freedom that goes beyond the natural life and the circumstances of this life on earth. Encourage one another to focus on the life of faith where peace can be found that surpasses understanding, even in the midst of horrors. Live FREE.
Always look for the story line: “But God!” What does that mean? you ask. It means that God has an ultimate plan that cannot be thwarted or fail. Reliance upon Him brings that peace He grants, no matter the horrors of the days we live.
See the future..hard as it is in a season of horror…do not compromise. Period. Be true to the Creator God and His son Jesus Christ, which will led us to be true to ourselves. Therein we shall altogether find HOPE and PEACE.
What are some ways that you and your family are processing living beyond the horrors of Aurora, Penn State and other such tragedies?
Blessings, JD Smith