Wednesday, October 04, 2006


It is heartbreaking to read about this latest school shooting in Pennsylvania. I read that the news reports come from a town called Paradise. It seems like such an oxymoron--definitely not a Paradise for the families living there.

Then I read this quote off of

Sam Stoltzfus, 63, an Amish woodworker who lives a few miles away from the shooting scene, said, "A funeral to us is a much more important thing than the day of birth because we believe in the hereafter. The children are better off than their survivors."

Then I realize that the children who were killed are really in Paradise now--the real Paradise--where everything is more vivid and truer than here on earth.

And something about the Amish in that town also reminds me of a Paradise. Maybe it is about how Jesus taught us to love one another--enemies included. I guess it is the kingdom of God and all that. The Amish community is actually reaching out to the shooter's family. From a friend's post I read:

Two funds have been set up by Old Order Amish. They are both through the Coatesville Savings at 1028 Georgetown Road, Paradise, PA 17503. One fund is the "Nickles Mines Children's Fund." The other is the "Roberts Family Fund, for Children of the Roberts Family."

Wow. It is something to preach the kingdom of God. It is quite another to actually live it.

May God comfort these families as we continue to remember them in our prayers.

Note: I know that Sam Stoltzfus' quote encompassed more than I included here. There is an indication in the rest of the quote that these events were in God's will. That part of the quote is bad theology, in my opinion. I do not blame God for these events. However, I do believe that there is some value in recognizing that when life ends on earth, it is not the end. So thank you for your patience with my spiritual reflection as it is developing.

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