In light of the recent tragedy our brothers and sisters in Connecticut have had abruptly thrown into their lives,
There are simply no words. We cannot understand how someone could be so heartless, so thoughtless, so cruel. It is difficult to cope with the idea of something like this, something we cannot fathom as being possible for a human being to inflict upon other human beings; to cause such pain, such heartbreak, such incredible loss. It seems so senseless and so deeply merciless – how could someone be capable of such horrific action? How could someone justify the violent taking of the lives of 26 people and the ruining of countless others? What would cause someone to do a thing like this? No extent of mourning or grief will ever be able to bring closure to this tragedy. There are simply no words.
I found this story that I think pertains to the painful and brutal state of being that our world has fallen into:
An ancient Rabbi once asked his pupils how they could tell when the night had ended and the day had begun. One student asked: “Could it be when you can see an animal in the distance and tell whether it is a sheep or a dog?”
No, answered the Rabbi.
Another student asked: “Could it be when you can look at the tree in the distance and tell whether it is a fig tree or a peach tree?”
No, answered the Rabbi again.
“Well, then, what is it?” his pupils demanded.
“It is when you look on the face of any woman or man and see that she or he is your sister or your brother. Because if you cannot do this, then no matter what time it is, it is still night.”
If we cannot recognize that every person in this world is our sister or brother, then it is still night. If we do not grieve deeply for the hurt and loss that other people in our world are experiencing, then it is still night. If we do not seek to alleviate the injustice that has been wrought upon us, then it is still night. If we do not acknowledge the fact that the tragedy of one person is the tragedy of all people, then it is still night. If we do not realize that all human life is equally precious and valuable, then it is still night. But if we can come to a place of awareness where we see that each and every one of us are connected on the most basic level – that we are all human beings – if we can understand that if one person is suffering then all are hurt by their anguish and seek to comfort our brothers and sisters in their pain as we mourn alongside them, then we will bear witness to the ending of the night and see the sun rise to begin a new day. There is hope to be found. We sometimes just have to be the ones to discover it and share it with others.