It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a nation/village to recover from the senseless violence toward innocent children. The seeming regularity of “Mass Casualty Events” (the official phrase for these events) shocks the collective system out of its concerns about petty patrician politics.

We may have more important priorities until we are reminded brutally how precious are the lives of all our children. The dividing walls tumble when MCE occur and we gather to heal, to pray and recover from yet another.

Our faiths call us from our outrage and our sorrow, to eternal questions and “matters of consequence” to quote “The Little Prince.” When tragedy strikes, be it natural disaster, financial corruption or human cruelty toward the innocents, we ask “why?” and “what does this mean?” in attempts to make the world sensible again.

Our best human efforts to answer questions of “Ultimate Concern” (Paul Tillich) all reach the same abyss: Reason can provide the recipe but not the final ingredient to give comfort and restore peace. This is the area of faith: Faith leaps the chasm of regulations and conversations about gun control, and provides a place of surrender and trust for wounded souls and shattered lives.

Faith provides absolute necessary ingredients for renewal in the face of all tragedies. Faith reassures us that we are not alone in the Universe.

Faith reminds us that we are not in charge of everything and never will be. Faith restores us in the knowledge that there is real evil in the world, but evil is limited and yields to goodness. Faith feels weak against abusive power, but faith outlasts empires and despots, cruelty and violence.

Instead of reaching our hands for superior firepower, let us raise our hearts to triumphant faith.

James A. Weathersby


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