January 11, 2011


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in The Journey

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Flying from Little Rock to our Nation’s Capital this morning. We’ve had a few inches of snow in Little Rock in the last 36 hours and temperatures haven’t been above freezing. And to top it off, sometime last night, a fine sleet started coming down. We boarded a nice warm plane right on time and the pilot informed us that there was ice underneath and on top of the wings. We would have to “de-ice” the plane so we could get off the ground. A truck rolls up and some kind of solution is sprayed on the wings and a few minutes later, we taxi out and take off.

The country is still in shock over the events in Tucson, Arizona, on Saturday morning. “Horrific”, “senseless”, “shocking” are words that we hear on TV and read online. Yesterday the father of Christina Green, the 9-year old who was killed, was on TV. Christina loved life and just couldn’t wait to get going every day. She always came into the bedroom and woke him up with a “Get up Daddy, let’s go!” Reminded me of my granddaughter Anna, age 5, who approaches everyday in the same manner – so excited that morning has come and so excited to see what the day has in store for her. Mr. Green said that Sunday morning was the first day he could remember that Christina didn’t come into his bedroom.

Christina had just been elected to office in her class. A neighbor suggested she get a dose of politics close-up by going down to meet Rep. Giffords that Saturday morning. If you have ever been around a youngster with a “Energizer Bunny” character, then you can imagine how excited she would have been. The 9-year old just elected to class office going to meet her Congresswoman on the street corner in Tucson. Such shattered innocence a few hours later.

In the blog post titled, How Will He Do It This Time, I wondered out loud how God would make something good out of late December reports of Christian persecution in Nigeria, Laos, and Pakistan. And here we are again. Of course there have been dozens of other acts in-between then and now that cause one to wonder the same thing. Some acts grab our heart even more than others. We know soldiers are giving their lives everyday … we know that Christians are persecuted and killed for their faith everyday … we know that loved ones are buried in funeral services everyday.

There may be any number of things that make one tragic event stand out more than another. Could be the number of people. Could be that children were involved. Could be that elderly people were involved. Could be that famous people were involved. Could be that it was so unexpected, so senseless, so unnecessary. And that’s where I’m at about the events in Tucson.

Prior to Saturday, I had never heard of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Christina Green, Dorothy Morris, Judge John Roll, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwan Stoddard, or Gabriel Zimmerman. But the attack was so unexpected, so senseless, so unnecessary. Praying that Rep. Giffords and all those wounded will quickly and fully recover.

How will God make something good out of this? That’s bigger than any of us to answer. “For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) Will He use this horrific, senseless, tragic event to “de-ice” our hearts?

Will each of us think a little more about how precious life is? Will we hug our children (and grandchildren!) just a little bit tighter? Will we go visit a loved one that we haven’t seen in awhile? Will our representatives in Washington, DC, practice civility and learn how to collaborate for the country’s good? Will our representatives act in such a way as to inspire admiration from the whole country? Will a child, a class, a school, or even a whole generation be called to public service?

I don’t know. No one does. My heart is heavy. Yours is too. We need “de-icing” to allow us to get off the ground. We can find comfort in knowing that something good will come from this. Something that only God could do and that will bring glory to Him. Through all the tears and heartaches in Tucson, I hope the families and friends and American public know that too.

     Counting on Him,


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