A Bodey in Motion

Building momentum, one step at a time

Everyday Tragedy

Unless you are one of the lucky few that live under a rock, you know about the horrible assault on an elementary school in Connecticut last Friday. I’m not going to link to the story here, or talk about much in the way of details. A broken, disturbed young man walked into a school and proceeded to kill several teachers and many of their students. Children died.

I’m not a big fan of it when children are hurt or killed. I don’t like seeing it in television shows or movies. I’ve actually put books down when a story includes it. I sure as hell don’t like it when it happens in real life like it did last Friday.

My emotions go on a wild ride. I get angry at the needlessness of the lives cut short. I empathize with those who are mourning for their children. I feel afraid when I think of being separated from my own children in such a sudden and violent manner.

And I wait for all of that to pass, and for the bluster and speculation to clear, before I do anything. It’s too easy to think stupid and impulsive thoughts while in the middle of all of that emotional turmoil. To act on those thoughts wouldn’t be useful.

Extreme, sensationalized examples like the Connecticut school violence should remind us that we live in a world full of everyday tragedy. If we look beyond the tight focus put on this one instance, we should quickly realize that, around the world, far more than twenty children faced a shocking or disturbing death last Friday. Many more than that had to deal with severe wounds or other suffering. And that happens every single day.

There are car accidents and drunk drivers. Natural disasters and extreme weather conditions. Heavily-armed police officers. Drone strikes on a foreign country. Starvation. Or a madman with a knife.

Sometimes they just drop dead for no reason at all.

No matter how much we try to shield them from all risks and injuries, there is no guarantee that any of us will see our children grow to adulthood. (In fact, there is a growing concern that our efforts to protect them is harming them more.) We can’t let our fears cause us to react impulsively. Keep the extreme instances in perspective, and don’t unnecessarily trade their freedom for alleged safety.

Our children are just on loan to us. We’re responsible for raising and guiding them, but life is unpredictable. They can be gone in a flash, and there could be nothing we can do to stop it. All we can do is make the best of the time we are given and be grateful for every second of it.

What will we teach them while they’re under our care? What kind of vision and hope are we passing on to them? Are you pointing them to reach for something higher, or are you huddled with them under the shadow of everyday tragedy?

December 17, 2012 Posted by | Past and Future, Politics and Other Insects | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Quick Hits of the Week

  • I am always surprised when I hear the statistics about giving among Christians. It’s well known that people working in ministry are, in a majority of cases, underpaid. Christians are called to be generous, emulating the gift that was given to us by Christ. Our family tithes and gives as much as we feel called to, because we want our church to be able to pay our pastors well, and we want there to be margin for helping the people in our community who have difficulty providing for themselves. Now, there is some debate over whether or not pastors should depend on the financial support of the church, but I think the argument for is fairly strong. If you don’t that’s your choice, but I’m wondering how you live generously.
  • We like to measure our success, no matter how we endeavor. One of the problems with that is the way we measure our success will have an effect on how we try to achieve it. Sometimes we’re just measuring the wrong things. For example, in education: if the goal is children who love learning, are test scores the best way to measure that?
  • Alright. I’m not condoning fighting a house fire with a garden hose. I don’t actually think that it would be effective. However, faced with the possibility that a neighborhood fire might spread to my property, and no firefighters in sight, I might try something drastic to slow the oncoming destruction. It would be incredibly unwise for me to do so against the explicit order of a police officer, too, but I would expect at least a couple of verbal warnings before they’d resort to whipping out a Tazer and shooting me with it to stop me. What do you think?
  • Part of the problem that our garden hose wielder was running into was the fear of what might happen. The police couldn’t risk him even trying to stave off the flames, because if he were hurt or killed, they would likely receive some blame. We live in a society that more and more tells us that if we can do something to reduce a risk we should do it, no matter the cost, or the limiting freedom. Every time somebody dies in a tragedy, somebody is to blame.

Is there something valuable or important or cool or funny or weird or awesome out there I missed this week? I can’t hit it all, but you should let me know about it by dropping me a line or sharing it in the comments below! I’d appreciate the heads up.

November 15, 2012 Posted by | Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Quick Hits of the Week

Quick Hits of the Week

  • Quick, but substantive article about how debts are handled after death, and how banks and credit card companies try to recoup losses through guilt. Some basic rules to remember. 1.) Anything the deceased owned will stand for what they owed. 2.) If you didn’t sign for it, you (generally) don’t have to pay for it. 3.) Some creditors are more interested in getting paid than being human regarding your pain (so don’t do business with them).
  • Last year, the Women’s Funding Network released a study showing juvenile prostitution had risen to epidemic levels in America. USA Today and other major media outlets picked it up and ran with it. Some church leaders held it up as an example of the broken and sinful world we are living in. And… it was crap. The numbers were all guesses, based on browsing online advertisements for prostitutes and counting the ones that were ‘young looking.’ Really.
  • Mark Goldblatt has written a fascinating philosophical piece over at Reason magazine regarding the nature of infinity and how it can speak to the infinite nature of God. This has nothing to do with how Christians should approach the Gospel, but it reminds us how difficult it is for our minds to do anything but get a glimpse of what the word infinite really means (as in ‘God is infinitely powerful), and I’ve always experienced a strange sense of calm when I’ve considered the infinite nature of God.

January 12, 2012 Posted by | Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment