The sun still comes up.
It’s been a tough weekend in America. Two mass shootings in 13 hours has left 29 dead as of this writing and countless injuries. My heart hurt when I saw the news of the latest shooting in Dayton, Ohio. As a native Ohioan it struck perhaps even a bit closer than the El Paso shooting. Our youngest son was born in a Dayton, Ohio hospital.
I have to cling to one of my old stand by mottos — the sun still comes up. Did you ever think about that? The sun still comes up. Every day. Some days it may be hidden by clouds. Some days it may be covered with raindrops. Some days, heaven forbid it, there may even be snow that covers the brilliance of the sun but it ALWAYS comes up. Without fail.
I have been pondering that thought all morning as the news is unfolding. So many are saying we need to stop the “thoughts and prayers”. I think I understand that their point is that we need to do something to take action to stop these mass shootings. But I disagree with the thought that we need to stop with the thoughts and prayers. If anything I would argue that we need more of those. I KNOW that prayers elicit action. I have seen it, experienced it and know it in my heart of hearts.
So how do I respond? It is difficult to wrap my mind around an event like this. If I could offer one word of comfort to any of them it would be just that fact—the sun still comes up. No matter how horrible your situation –the sun will still come up. Trust me, these situations are horrific. I can not begin to imagine and while my “motto” might seem trite it rings true.
When I was a teenager and had braces on my teeth I was just not a big fan of going to the orthodontist. A trip to the orthodontist always meant tightening brackets and wires and a sore mouth for days. Wires sometimes came loose and poked gums. Wax had to be placed on the brackets so they would not rub the inside of the mouth raw. While I loved that my horribly out of whack teeth would finally be straight and nice looking I was not a huge fan of the pain that sometimes went with achieving that look.
So I managed to come up with a method to get through the pain and dread of having to sit in that chair at the orthodontist. Our trips almost always included a shopping excursion afterwards. I saved my babysitting money up for these post appointment trips and thought about what I would find during the excruciating minutes in the chair. It always helped to think past the pain, past the appointment to the time post appointment when I would be able to enjoy an hour shopping someplace fun. While a trip to the orthodontist is nothing compared to a mass shooting and this example is not meant to minimize the pain that these people are experiencing it is simply an example of what I continue to do to push through something less than pleasant.
These recent events are indescribable and so intense but I have to believe that there are still moments of good that can be seen. I know that the first responders did their jobs. The police, emergency personnel, hospital staff and others were there. They responded. They showed up. They helped. I have to believe that there are also others who were bright lights in the midst of a really dark time. I choose to focus on those people instead of the ones that brought destruction. So if I had to offer a thought in these days of incredible sadness it would be simple. The sun will always come up, there is always hope and something positive is just around the corner. Just like my time in the orthodontist chair there is something to look forward to after the “pain”. It may take a while to get there, to be able to embrace it but it will come- eventually.
We have all had challenges. Life is just full of them and it is how we come out on the other side of them that shows our character and our faith. What do you do to get through the challenges that life throws your way? I would love to hear. Remember to leave me a comment and Comment for a Cause for our August recipient — Find Your Anchor. Each comment on any post during the month means a 50 cent donation.