Forward: Our goal from the day Ravens24x7.com launched back in 2003 was to deliver from the perspective of a fan, Ravens news, opinions and insight in an informative and fun way. Along the way our journey has taken twists and we’ve ventured down new paths. Sometimes those paths have little to do with the Ravens or the NFL because it seemed to make sense to travel such paths if for no other reason than it was the right thing to do. Such is the case today with this…
Perhaps like many of you I have long been a believer that things happen for reasons. For me it stems from our Maker who in a way that only He can understand initiates a string of interconnected events, which in their totality represent the world we know.
But when something so heinous and devastating and evil as the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December take place, it’s only natural to ask, “Why would God allow such things?”
Maybe that wasn’t God at all. Maybe he just gave us all the rope we needed to collectively screw it all up and the result was an unconscionable blood letting that has inspired me to take pause every day since to be thankful for what I have. I hope it’s a feeling that never leaves me.
How many of you put yourself in the shoes of one of those parents? It’s so hard to do for most of us. Pain like that is unimaginable but the thought of it should stop you in your tracks.
Whether you are a coach, a teacher, an accountant, a police officer, a fireman, a provider, there are many times that you assess what you’ve done, what you’ve learned from an event – the goal of which is to be better the next time around.
Sometimes the events may be relatively small. Perhaps your son or daughter is angry with you but its fleeting nature allows you to easily brush it off. And so you move on with your day and the problem goes unresolved. String several of such events together and the longer they are ignored, the bigger the problem and the more damaging the consequences.
I won’t sit here and sermonize about mental illness or gun control. I don’t have the answers but we can collectively reach solutions. We must demand it from one another and those who govern us. How we get there is undoubtedly challenging but for me it begins with goodness, love, sharing, laughter and some form of faith that keeps your moral compass pointed in the right direction.
So as we all prepare for the Holiday Season, whatever your faith may be, I hope it guides you, fills your heart, lifts your spirit, lightens your burdens and opens your mind.
I hope you give more than you get and discover what a gift that is.
I hope you take time to appreciate those in your life because as we’ve seen you never know when death may rob them from you.
I hope you feel compelled to hug someone you barely know. It may leave a wonderfully indelible mark.
I hope you don’t hesitate to take that picture for it forever captures the moment and becomes a bookmark in time.
I hope you hear the words, “I love you” and that they linger in the air like the aroma of home.
I hope you slow down because the race is overrated.
I hope that you are less judgmental and more understanding.
I hope you take the time to make a positive impression on a child. You never know how that may transcend generations.
And most of all I hope and pray for the families affected at Sandy Hook. May those precious lives of the children and faculty never be forgotten because unfortunately we have forgotten before as evidenced by this poem penned by a parent who suffered in a similar way over 13 years ago.
Your words are empty air.
You’ve stripped away our heritage,
You’ve outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question “Why?”
You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!
Written by Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, April 20, 1999