I hate that we are a society that breeds and accepts violence, indifference, and suffering in various forms.
I hate that we value the wrong things and neglect the least of these.
I hate that as member of that society, I am not without fault nor am I entirely blameless in either regard.
I especially hate that, despite being deeply affected by the recent tragedy in Connecticut and having lived through a different kind of tragedy myself, I find myself on some level disturbingly numb, indifferent, jaded, and helpless in the face of evil and the pain of others.
This should not be, and we need to openly confess that we all contribute, at least in some small measure, to the darkness of a fallen world through our inaction, aggression, excess, selfishness, and apathy. In light of this, we must then repent from the wrong we unknowingly celebrate and work together to find new ways of dying to self and loving our neighbor as Christ commanded.
It was September of 2010, and my parents, sister, and I were on our way to the Bahamas on a 3-day cruise. We had never been on a cruise before and were very excited. We never really took such vacations before, but this one just came together as if God had planned it for us. As it turns out, it was incredibly significant and perhaps the most memorable and fun times I’ve had, at least with my sister, Alicia. It became the last vacation the four of us would ever take as a family. But it was better than we could have ever imagined and left us with some incredible memories.
I’ve never read Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities”, but first two opening lines taken by themselves seem to aptly describe my experience during these past Summer and Fall seasons. I had anxiously been looking looking forward to this Summer for months anticipating some great times in the warmer weather. Unfortunately, this story begins with the worst of times. As I begin to write this, it is exactly six months since a Friday afternoon when I got the phone call that would change everything. Not an hour before I had been on the phone with my mom making plans for the weekend. You see, my parents, sister, and myself were all getting new bikes and had planned to go biking on the York Heritage Rail Trail that weekend. But sadly our plans changed. The next time I answered the phone it was my dad, and I could tell immediately from his voice that something was very wrong. Tragically, my sister, Alicia, was in a terrible car accident. And instead of enjoying a family outing, we would be planning her memorial service.