We are almost a week away from the Newtown tragedy. We are cried out. We sit in disbelief over how something like this could happen. Emotions run through us like a stampede: Anger, sorrow, confusion, disbelief, and still more sorrow. There is an empty feeling inside each of us. We are tired of tragedies such as these, and yet, we feel helpless. How can I do something that will impact this horror? What can I do? I am not a politician. I cannot enact laws to put guns out of existence. We cannot prevent people from being evil. How can we, as a loving people, anticipate insanely, irrational acts of violence?

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”-1 That one line pretty much dictates what is necessary to be done. That is one side of the coin. On the Christian side are the words, “Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good.”-2 Is this not what Jesus was telling us, when to Thomas’ question of how can we know the way, He responded with “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”?-3 Live and love as Jesus did. Follow His example. Let Him work through YOUR actions.

Spurring from the talk, by the father of one of the victims, grew the response of #20Acts  #26 Acts of Kindness. He said, “Let it [be] something that inspires us to be better, to be more compassionate and humble people.  Let us please keep the sentiments of love that we feel for our families, and the compassion that we feel for others– even complete strangers– and keep them with us at all times, not just in times of sorrow and tragedy.  And may we do this so that we can better all of our communities, and all of our cities and all our states, so we can make everyone, everywhere in this country feel safe.”-4 He concluded by saying we cannot let tragedies define us.

“God writes straight with crooked lines”-5 loosely translated, God can make good happen, even out of evil. People’s tragedies, like blindness, or leprosy etc., Jesus turned into occasions of joy and conversion. From Jesus’ death on the cross, came our redemption. Each of us, right now, has the ability to turn the tragedy of Newtown into the beginning of an era of goodness and kindness. We CAN affect our little world. We CAN treat all the people with whom we come in contact, with love and concern. Each day we can perform an act of kindness for someone else. Each day we can think of someone else’s need instead of our own. Doing something for someone else, not because it will be noticed, nor because we feel guilty, but because there is a need, a person is suffering. The world is trying to do that right now. People are doing little things, good things, for others.

Don’t let the tragedy of Newtown fade from your memory. Let it fire up all the good instincts that are within you. Face your fears, address your weaknesses, go out of your way to be kind to others, even people whom you don’t know or like. Maybe Newtown was humanity’s wake-up call. It could be. It depends on all of us. There are 26 new angels in Heaven.

Let’s honor each one of those angels with an act of kindness …. again and again and again. If you think this blog has any merit, pass it along to your email friends. Don’t be shy, each one of us is called to be courageous for the sake of Jesus. If all my email address friends, and all of yours, and all of theirs do acts of kindness in the coming days… well…. that is how the world is changed, that is how we imitate Jesus.

A Happy and Blessed Christmas

-1 Edmund Burke
-2 St. Paul in his letter to the Romans 12:21
-3 John, 14:5-6
-4 Robert Parker, father of Emilie
-5 St. Augustine, OR Portuguese Proverb (uncertain which)