Thursday, October 05, 2006

Forgiveness in Pennsylvania Shared With the World

There is beauty in what, to human-focused eyes, appears to be a tragedy in the land of the Amish following the shootings of the children: Good things for individuals to hear of and know and live and good things for the world's people.

The media continue to follow that community, the people, the burials, and the world sees people who live a life of God's love and forgiveness -- A people who do not reflexively, habitually, culturally, personally, believe that a violent act requires a violent response. Indeed, a community that drapes its concern and prayers around the shoulders and souls of the family of the man who committed the act of shooting their community's children.

And what of the act of the man who pulled the trigger so many times and then turned the gun on himself? Consider this: Here is a man who was obviously haunted by fear and a self-loathing for something (real or imagined) done long ago and who did not, seemingly, believe forgiveness was anything he could expect. Yet, when he took steps to take even more horrific steps, where did he tread? Did he go to a local supermarket? Another school? No, he went straight to the one community where, despite anything he might do, he would be blessed with forgiveness by thousands -- as are his family. What a 'bank account of goodness and love' (I'd call it) was deposited for him and his family!

And, in the process of their soul's agreement to meet that day, the souls of the children and of this man have shared a message that can't help but make an impression on the minds of everyone who hears the stories on their TV and radio and internet. Forgiveness, love, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." It's a stunning example many people's minds now have to get their hands around. Are you protesting against this? Not able to fathom it?

While you - we - have been living lives in various guises of fear, lack, defensiveness (with all the attendent traumas, angers, rumors, innuendo, defensiveness, etc etc that take such a brutal toll on our lives whether in our relationship to our boss, our family, our government's decisions, etc), everyday these people are free of the loads that weigh us down; because, in their own way of organizing their community, their beliefs have no place where those harmful concepts can hold onto/Velcro to. And, as a result and in their particular way, their community supports all in their community; and, because they don't construct dividing lines of where or how far love can be extended, they also reach out in prayer to the soul of the man who killed the physical lives of several children as well as to his family, for they, too, are reeling and in need of love.

What will your next response be when someone does something as trivial as "press your buttons?" Choose to let it go. It really is your choice. The larger tragedy is a learning experience we can all take into our daily lives.