Many emotions are flooding through my being, as I’m certain they are with you as you learn more and reflect upon the latest Tragedy with National implications. Humanly speaking, how can you not be moved by the heroic stories and struggle for survival in the Tucson Tragedy, as many were with the devastating earthquake in Haiti last year? Looking through the cameras at the area in Tucson also reveals an outpouring of action that many have taken to at least send prayers, balloons, flowers, and well wishes. As is typical, our government leaders are also taking on a more pastoral role, revealed through the actions and comments in the Arizona and Federal Congresses. President Obama and other leaders are also speaking at a Memorial service in Tucson, Arizona this evening. In this article, I will speak again to what I addressed when first establishing my Website, after the 04-16-07 VT Tragedy (see my 04-28-08 Blog, “GROWTH…From Compassion to ACTION”). May we grow more through this latest far reaching tragedy and move beyond compassion to a lifestyle of properly acting!
One of the closest personal tragedies I was first faced with was back on 10-15-04, when my youngest brother succumbed to the spiritually oppressive thinking in his mind and decided to take a gun and end his own life. That was not expected by family or friends and was a very difficult thing to come through. GOD gave me the strength to do the emotionally hardest thing I’d done to that point in leading the graveside service for my brother in the flesh and Spirit (a rough and then unplanned video and transcript of this is on my website under the tab, “Battle of the Mind”). I had intended to write some comments about this at the time on my VT ministry website, but didn’t get back to that, so I will some here. I was amazed at the number of people that sent cards and expressions of support and prayers; I had not sensed that same level of support through other difficulties and even specific appeals for help. It caused me to reflect upon why this is so. I don’t have room to develop this further, here, but the answer lies in each of us taking the time to apply actions of love, compassion and support as a lifestyle—i.e. serving others (as discussed further in lesson #7 [chapter 6] of my book). We could also learn from Psalm 78 and Israel’s history!
The way you can tell if you have grown through any difficulty or tragedy you have faced is the degree to which you keep your focus off yourself and on serving others. You can serve the people right around you and help them get through difficult times. You must continue to keep this before you, as time and the need for daily survival often blunt this thinking and effort. Our own human nature also fights for self preservation, so it involves repeated self-denial (as far as your own desires). We should not live in denial of what reality teaches us, yet we must move beyond seeing the reality and feeling the compassion to living out the lifestyle in actions. I trust that you will use the natural, emotional response to this Tucson Tragedy to motivate you to the place of good change and growth in actions. You acting more personally (and not just “passing the buck” or blame to others or leaders, like police or mental health workers) is what will help diminish and even prevent future such tragedies.
If you get to view this Tucson Tragedy Memorial Service (yet to occur as I write this), I trust it will help you reflect on the greater meanings in life and what we each are called to be and do. You do not have the strength or power on your own to do this effectively. You need the Grace of your Creator, GOD. Scripture explains that this is available and found in the Person of Jesus Christ. I trust you know Him and what He has done and will do for you and us all. We can grow to properly understand and not neglect His name, as was true in the 04-17-07 VT Memorial Service (and has been in official ceremonies since). Be moved to ACTIONS!