A couple of days ago, I wrote a post about the Amish in Nickel Mines, PA, and the horrific loss of life of the little girls in the shooting at their school. As I predicted, the Amish response to their grief is the answer to the question "What would Jesus do?" They have responded by offering forgiveness rather than hatred and resentment.
Hatred is like a cancer that will ultimately eat a person up from the inside out. Back in the 1980s Don Henley, after he left the Eagles for a solo career, wrote a song called "The Heart of the Matter." It is a song about a love affair between a man and a woman that went wrong and is over. The refrain of the song says,
'Been tryin to get down
to the heart of the matter
But the will gets weak,
and my thoughts seem to scatter,
But I think its about, forgiveness, forgiveness
Even if, even if,
you don't love me anymore."
There is another line in the song that says, "You keep carrying that anger, it will eat you up inside."
Although it is unimaginable to most of us, the way of Jesus is not the way of hatred and revenge. And, the world was reminded of that yesterday as the grandfather of one of the little girls stood over her lifeless body and said, "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us."
Pray for the Amish community today as they bury these innocent little girls. Pray that the grace of God will sustain them in this horrible moment. But, also pray for your own community, state, nation and the world. Pray that the way of Jesus will be followed in the face of evil rather than the way of violence, hatred and revenge.
"And the world will live as one!" --John Lennon