A Response to the Sandy Hook School Massacre

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton



This morning on the CBS Morning News, the reporters covering the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School asked a correspondent from the Newton area the standard "default" question: "What can people do to respond to this tragedy?" The correspondent gave a genuine and honest response: "I don't know."

To be sure, many of us feel the same way. What CAN we do to respond to the Sandy Hook Massacre? The default answer is "pray," which we should do. But it's more than that. For me, the answer is deeply personal and highly relational.

What we can do today is quite simple, yet deeply meaningful. If we have children we can hug them, tell them we love them, and comfort them in their confusion. We can share with our friends the deep appreciation we have for them as companions on the journey. We can put aside family differences and realize that life is short, precious, and uncertain.

We can hit the streets with an attitude of mercy and grace in the midst of impatience and confusion. We can stop pointing the finger at what we perceive to be wrong and realize that what is wrong is more complex than one simple answer or opinion.

We can deal with our own actions that are destructive and harmful: hurtful Facebook posts, judgmental attitudes, self-centered agendas, and a lack of kindness/mercy to those we encounter (to name a few).

We can stay focused on the reality that families are devastated today and do need our prayers. We can come to the realization that solutions to big problems will take an unwavering commitment to collaboration and cooperation, rather than finger-pointing and feeble attempts to create easy answers.

And, we can take the lead from a prophet long ago who said quite simply yet profoundly, "God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8). May it be so.

The Journey Continues….


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