Getting Beyond the Grief

Coverage of the tragic massacre at Virginia Tech will be, by today’s standards, old news when this issue of Farm and Dairy comes out, but I’m motivated to write about little else when concern about the incident is so great. Among co-workers, customers, people on the street, students attending an otherwise normal day of school, parents waiting for their children to finish a night’s rehearsal and head for home and unfinished homework, most of the conversation around me is focused on this catastrophe.
It is our nature to wonder what we did wrong that allowed such a deranged person to end so many lives and then his own. We scrutinize the whys of life in retrospect (the old adage that hindsight is 20/20), but no matter how we try to control the future by what we have learned from the past, living brings an ever-changing pattern of events that we will never totally control. To expect to get such a handle on things would be trying to play God.
In times like these, we’d best talk to Him instead. (I use “Him ” here, not because I picture a man-like form in a cloud filled heaven, but simply because of my years of being exposed to referring to God as a him. I believe that his power lies within each of us, and discovering ways to unlock that power is what we’re all about — communication, compassion, understanding, compromise, and, above all, love.
For those who lost loved ones in this slaying, life can never be the same, so in a sense, it will never be the same for any of us. As we live past the whys and the wherefores of this sad event, we wonder how we can find the faith to go from day to day into our world of unknowns and changes without fear.
Though we each envision and encounter God in our own way, I believe most of us feel there is something beyond us all that is greater than we can understand. So in our own ways, let us pray for those whom this has left with great heartache. In Him, perhaps, we can bolster our faith through this bad experience and move on.
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Last week, I described a teacher who read aloud to her students. One of the books she read is titled From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. A Newbery Medal winner in 1968, yes, it was written for middle school ages, but don’t let that stop you. It was the quickest, yet most delightful, read I’ve had in a while, one you shouldn’t miss.

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