Prior to last week's shooting in Noblesville, I had read that following the shooting at Sante Fe High School in Texas, school shootings for 2018 numbered 41...and now we add Noblesville, Indiana. Any number of shootings in a year over the number of "zero...none" is too many.
It is devastating to see the lives of these students, staff and parents torn apart in an instant. As people of faith, when we wonder what we can do, of course the main thing is that we can pray. We can all begin to pray with gratitude for the first responders, and the students, and staff who handled themselves so well. We can pray for those who have lost loved ones so senselessly and that they will feel arms of love from God and those around them holding them. We can pray for the community to be united in support for one another as a true community. Prayer is the main thing.
But I want to say that prayer is not the only thing. And of course I hope that people will feel moved to respond and to meet the needs that will arise. In Scripture we are reminded that faith without action is dead faith.
The other piece that I strongly believe will be transforming is how each of us intentionally lives out our daily lives. Yes, our daily lives will make a difference in the world. Our lives need to radiate the love of Christ in everything we say and do. That is being the light of Christ...remember Christmas candlelight services???? As the light broke into the darkness and as there was more and more light, there comes a breathtaking glow. Each of us is one tiny dot on this planet and if each dot lives and breathes this light and love, it spreads and covers all the world. Each of us as a tiny dot impacts the world. It won't change what happened a few days ago but will make a difference for tomorrow. Our day to day lives can hold great impact when love is shared even in the smallest and unexpected ways. It begins to soften the world that has become so hardened...but it will only happen one day at a time, one interaction at a time that eventually takes over.
If only all of us around this nation committed to sharing love as the Gospel teaches multiple times throughout our day with multiple people, that would change our culture and society. Can you help and follow the Gospel message making it real and reflected in your life? Will you look for those opportunities? Will you create those opportunities?
Please continue with me praying for the heroic teacher, Mr. Seaman and the young student who were shot last week in Noblesville. Please also pray with me for the students and faculty of the school. Please pray for our community to embrace and love one another because this will overcome evil.
Rev. Patti Napier