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Dec 20, 2012

The Newtown Elementary school shootings have left us disheartened, to say the least. Perhaps fearful. Sad. For some, despairing. As Catholic Governor of Connecticut, Dannel Malloy, exhorted, “Evil visited this community today.” So it did. The violence perpetrated on children, and the deaths, shook us severely. Rattled us ruthlessly. The struggle to make meaning of it all persists.

Hopefully it motivates us, too. Out of crisis comes commitment. As we know from Scripture and our experience, times of despair cry out for God, not because it’s God’s fault, but because it brings us face-to-face with the rawness, ugliness, if you will, of humanity.  The underbelly isn’t pleasant. It’s messy. It’s complex. It is, yes, ugly.

Since the tragedy I’ve looked many places for comfort. For a rationale, an answer to the question why. I suspect you've been there as well. No simple rationale or easy answer exists.

God – a little help, please? Perhaps a clue?

I imagine God patiently and lovingly whispering in my ear, “I’ve already given you the greatest clue you’ll ever need – it is my Son and the Word – Jesus.” For Christians, Jesus is the primordial clue.

Jesus as primordial clue translates to Christianity as enduring peace. A man of nonviolence, amidst a world of severe violence, chose not to become an aggressor. Chose, in a sense, not fight nor flight. Alternatively, he chose nonviolent resistance. A third path. Dialogue. Relationship. Witness and testimony, parable and creed. Perhaps our response can be similar?

Jesus, Prince of Peace. A significant – transforming – clue. Jesus, triumphant over death, destruction, violence. Although not easy, in the face of persecution, he overcame.

He trusts we will, too.  It won’t be easy or expedient. It will take our human-ness engaging all of humanity.

Weeping.

Conversing.

Praying.

Witnessing.

Imagining.

Overcoming.

Laughing, once again?

In the thick of darkness, the Prince of Peace illuminates the way.

Ryan J. Hoffmann | Senior Director of Enrollment Management | rhoffmann@ctu.edu | 773.371.5523