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Tragedies in LIfe


Twenty children were killed at a school in Connecticut last week.  It is devastating beyond reason to those affected directly and various emotions and reactions are brought to bear by those of us affected indirectly.   Learning by proxy is one of life's great teachers no matter how sad the lesson.  

We all like to think that we  can be a force for justice in the world. We somehow think that our sense of justice is the right one. After all it is wrong for someone to kill innocent children and unarmed adults, right?  Do we realize that in order for justice to exist, injustice must likewise be a present given option?

Many years ago when I had a two year old son, a family of our fellow church members also had a two year old son.  Their son found his way to a nearby canal, fell in and drowned.  The call had previously gone out that he was missing. I remember the anguish we all felt in not knowing what had happened.  When his little body was discovered we were all extremely saddened.  I felt for many weeks and months the pain of that family and a persistent thought that it could have been my child. Where was the justice in this event? 

My mind was brought to bear on the fact that my son was with me and theirs was not.  I felt overwhelming gratitude for life and sadness for a loss.  I had however experienced the death of my mother as an eight year old boy before her 29th birthday.  She was gone in one day in a tragic accident that is a regular risk living in a society with automobiles.That experience has remained with me as a powerful reminder of how fragile life is. Now that I have kids older than that, a new perspective was gained.

We don't need to dwell on the many what ifs, but it is a certainty that we will until we come to grips with reality.  That is how death affects us.  We mourn in a state of denial not accepting the fact that such an event really happened, that our loved one is no longer with us.  Slowly we accept the reality of our present state. With faith we push forward and slowly our heart heals but our memory and purpose remain stronger because of our feelings for the deceased. We most likely will never get over their passing in this lifetime.

If we come to grips with reality, we will look at the fact that we will all die.  In some cases we deem death normal and just, in other circumstances it just doesn't seem acceptable with our present idea of justice. 

The reality is that we all go somewhere and that place is the same for all of us, no matter what we think it might be.  It is governed by truth and the process will be consistent.  Whether one lives six years or eighty-six years it is a blink in the great eternity in which we find ourselves.  

We mourn with an incomplete picture of the future.  We often see only what we want to see.   For some it is the death of innocent children, killed by random violence. To others an extreme injustice occurred because an object with killing potential was available.  

Our goal should be to eliminate violence.  Mistakenly many think they can do that by restricting objects used to commit violence. But the truth is we will never eliminate it in our present state and present world.  When we fail to punish criminals or worse yet fail to recognize the environments that produce criminal behavior we will never find the means to stop it. 

These topics become hotly debated each time a crime like this occurs.  The essence of our freedom allows for things our laws cannot always prevent, for they cannot stop the desires of the evil heart. When guns are no longer available they will use cars and drive into groups of people or find other means to carry out their twisted imaginations.

Our character is revealed in these times of opposition.  Do we want to refine our soul or blame objects used to injure? As harsh as it seems or sounds the refinement of our soul depends on the opposition of negativity and evil being around us. Would we be wrong in assuming that hundreds if not thousands of individuals capable of committing heinous crimes are sown throughout our society?  They are mostly the result of decades of desensitizing attitudes towards life and those relationships that bring human creation.  How they manifest themselves  in our society is a variable of great uncertainty.

Do we want to stop the deaths of innocent children?  Then what about the abuse in their homes that kills thousands of children every year? Guns are rarely the weapon of choice. These children are shaken, choked and starved along with other numerous methods of acting our anger and violence.

Twenty children die every 4 days from some type of familial dysfunction that results in abuse at the hands of the people closest to them, even those who should be their protectors. A few individual and organization crusaders remind us of this awful evil that plagues us every day.  What causes such behavior?  Why would God allow this abuse to occur at the hands of what should be a child's greatest protector?  Indeed the character of our nation has shifted. Not because of guns or weapons but because of our insensitivity to life.  “The Two Moral Codes” discusses this subject.

The extreme examples we see from time to time, even more frequently it seems, are severe reminders of where we really are as a country and a society. We would rather become incensed at the extreme acts of destruction and let them distract us from the sensitivity needed for the simple acts of respect that keep a society balanced in family relationships where more children have a chance at a happy life.  

The question we inevitably ask is; Why doesn't God do something about this type of evil or evils?  The short answer is that God intended for mankind to be free to act on their own volition. That is one purpose of life.  This natural law of freedom allows for all things to interact in the facets of good and evil that we are acquainted with, be they bitter or sweet.  

Can he stop our choices?  Probably, but why would he?  For him there is no death. His justice is not fully in effect in this life, otherwise it would interfere with our choices. Punishment cannot be immediately inflicted, nor reward as this would control our behavior.  We are being tested to see if we will control our own behavior.

With our limited vision the outcome we see and want might not be the best one. Those children and teachers that died have gone to God.  We are left us to deal with their passing with faith that they will be well, or that they are just simply gone. Are we a people of faith or something else?

I discuss the nature of good and evil in my post on "The Purpose of Freedom and Natural Law"

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