It can be quite disconcerting to even begin to make heads or tails out of all the tragedies that have occurred over this year. On February 26 we heard of the heinous acts that resulted in the death of a young boy in Sanford, Florida, named Treyvon Martin. There was an immediate outcry from all across the country as people donned hoodies and carried Arizona Teas and bags of Skittles in tribute, as a plea for justice went forth until the shooter was arrested by a police force who seemed discombobulated as to whether they should even call it a crime or not.
Then on July 20th, as many were hoping to enjoy the epic conclusion to the Dark Knight trilogy, shots rang out in an Aurora Colorado theatre that killed 12 people and injured numerous others. The horrific accounts led to the immediate response of not only the township, but also those who were involved in the making of the movie, including its star Christian Bale. The killer James Holmes, seemingly obsessed by the Joker character portrayed by the late Heath Ledger left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of the local citizenry.
Sixteen days later, on August 5th a Wisconsin, a Sikh Temple was rocked by the vicious killings of a lone gunman who walked in and took the lives of those inside worshipping. Days after that, on August 24th at the Empire State building another shooting takes place killing two and injuring nine; the actions of an apparent disgruntled former apparel designer.
Most recently, on December 14, 2012 the small town of Newtown, CT became another sign of the times as an elementary school felt the chilling similarities to the Columbine and Virginia Tech shootings. The actions of the shooter Adam Lanza are only now beginning to unfold. The understandings of why may take even longer.
While these shootings aren’t the only notable events to rock this nation this year, they do pale in comparison; the polarization felt over the 2012 re-election of President Barack Obama, Hurricane Sandy’s crushing blow through New York and New Jersey, and numerous earthquakes to hit both coasts all just add to an already wounded nation.
It’s so easy to look at all of the horrible things that we have witnessed this year and wonder what can be done as individuals. It can be very difficult to see hope as the year comes closer to its close and remain positive about a new year. What can be so easily forgotten though, is that in the midst of each of these situations, it was the prayers and the hearts of community that has been the thing that has brought an ability to cope, formulate action plans, and truly galvanize people to one another. While not everyone may be a person of faith, those who do share a belief that God is yet working in the midst of it all, will no doubt be able to find a way to push past the losses.
It’s not enough to ask the questions, which so often only lead to more questions, it is important to look to ways to heal the hurts and fill the holes that have been made. Moving toward the new year, continue to pray for those that have suffered, remember that it so easily could have been much worse or someone else affected, and that gestures such as a simple smile and prayer can go a long way to repairing broken lives.
When things are traumatic, people are generally in need of urgent attention. Trauma centers know that swiftness is the key in salvation of lives. At a time like this, which for many is already noted a being a most difficult time to deal with because many get depressed by not having loved ones around that in previous times were, it is important to jump in and do something to ensure that the loss doesn’t become worse.
QUESTION: What will you do to help in the healing of fellow Americans that have face great trauma in 2012?
- Ryan Lanza Identified By Police As Gunman In Deadly Connecticut Elementary School Shooting (huffingtonpost.com)
- 3 Dead, Including Gunman, in Shooting at Oregon Mall (nytimes.com)
- A Timeline Of Mass Shootings In The US Since Columbine (thinkprogress.org)
- “Darkness has clouded out the light” pray for our Children (outersparkle.com)
- God sent the redeemer (gemsofgodsgrace.wordpress.com)
- When the Question You Fear Most Gets Answered (redemptionsbeauty.wordpress.com)
- Surrounded by Friends, Yet Alone (makingroomforgod.wordpress.com)
- Suffering: Why Does God Allow It? (vineoflife.net)