...and this remains (the 2018 valentine's day tragedy)
'Aidan' from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, tweeted after being evacuated from the building: "Love each other. You may never know when it may be the last day you meet someone." (https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/14/us/florida-high-school-shooting/index.html)
Another shooting that violently rips open our soul, but I am confident in two things:
1. I will probably never know in this life the real why and how of this event and the mind of the shooter: his story, his desperation that caused this horrific action.
2. Those families in Florida are loving their neighbors and friends like they've never loved before.
Viktor Frankl (Holocaust survivor / neurologist and psychiatrist) wrote:
"Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. What is to give light must endure burning.
I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. Live as if you were living a second time, and as though you had acted wrongly the first time...Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for."
Frankl said: "Live as if you were living a second time."
So, those families? I think they will hug their children or their friends' children a bit longer today. They may forgive their spouses for yesterday's irritations. They may call their estranged relative. They may let go of grievances plaguing them for years.
When faced with tragedy, we look to what really matters and focus desperately on those things. Why, though, does it have to be a tragedy to bring this love out? Can we not each day love the checkout guy by looking him in the eyes and really asking him how his day is going? the bus driver who's driving your child to school and thanking them? your spouse or partner, by making them coffee even though you went to bed angry? that one person who you always avoid, by making them a priority today? that stranger a compliment? Can't we leave just little bit more margin in life to breathe? observe? love?
How to love? I need a reminder daily and don't we all.
does not envy
does not boast
it is not proud
it does not dishonor others
it is not self-seeking
it is not easily angered
it keeps no record of wrongs
does not delight in evil
rejoices with the truth
... and these words came from someone so overflowing with hate. the greatest persecutor of the historical Jesus, Saul of Tarsus (a murderer and terrorist to followers of Jesus of Nazareth), encountered Jesus [after his crucifixion] as he was walking and was transformed in seconds...became blind, was healed, then, became one of the greatest speakers explaining the character of God and Jesus. Saul became Paul, and he said:
"If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails...And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
Today, may I allow stereotypes, reputations, past hurts, and religion to fall away from my mind to permit the greatest thing to remain.
What is the one thing living in your mind that is unloving? Can that unloving idea/action/thought be replaced with a loving one today?
selah (pause + reflect), Sarah