“Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.”
— Isaiah 40:1.
If there is anything we need at this moment, probably more than anything else, we need comfort. What happened last Friday in Newtown, Conn., is on everyone’s mind. In fact, we probably can’t get it off of our minds. We wonder how it could have happened, what could have been done to prevent it and what to do to see that it never happens again.
These questions do not help assuage the trauma we felt as news reports unfolded last week and the horror of the event became progressively more accurate and apparent to us. Such clarity and the reality of the harshness left each of us asking, “Why?” And we know there are no clear answers, nor might there ever be. So we are left with a sense of hopelessness and helplessness in the face of such brutality and violence.
We must remember that God is here, God is present, and He wishes to offer us His comfort and His solace. He gave us free will, and as many have asked, “What was He thinking? Why didn’t He just make us puppets, easily manipulated and managed, who could only did what the puppeteer determined the toy would do? Why did He have to give us this irritating, pesky, unpredictable and often unruly free will?”
Because He wants us to freely choose Him, and He will not force this. He wants us to love Him, and others, because we want to. And in so doing, we will offer the very thing to one another that the Scripture passage from Isaiah ascribes, that is, that we offer God’s comfort to one another.
So in light of this, may we each be attentive to what the simplicity of Mother Teresa’s “Anyway” prayer espouses: “The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; do good anyway.”
Kate Walsh Soucheray is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Stillwater. She works at Christian Heart Counseling at 275 Third St. South and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-439-2059 ext. 718.