Saturday, December 29, 2012

Too Much to Ask?

In the aftermath of the Newtown slaughter, it is hard to know what we can offer. Nothing covers up the shame of this open, gaping wound on the national conscience. How could it have happened, and what can we do to help? We can't change what happened, and we'll never restore what has been taken, but we can each have a small part in preventing further tragedies like the evil deed of one sick soul at Sandy Hook.

We're not asked to do the impossible. Historically, all God has asked of his people was to look after our neighbors. We're simply to "render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another . . . not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart" (from Zechariah 7:9-10). Can we do that much? Can we each take good care of the person right next to us, or is it too much to ask?

Among God's people, it has seemed too much to ask, for "they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. They made their hearts diamond-hard" (verses 11-12), and I'm afraid we're tempted to do the same. Please don't withdraw from those around you, and don't close your eyes to the needs of difficult people. How many turned their backs on the unpleasant kid who grew up to be Lanza?

Let's not let it happen again.

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