Heart Reflections Live
Sunday, December 31, 2006
2006- What Impacted Me the Most...
What a tumultuous year it's been! What impacted me the most this year, was not the tragic death of Steve Irwin-despite the strong emotion experienced, living for 12 months in close proximity to Australia Zoo, when Beerwah for a week or 2 became the centre of world attention, but a tragic event & its astonishing aftermath that happened in the USA- the Amish school shooting.
It took a senseless tragedy like this, to show the world- and I dare say THE CHURCH what true Christianity & forgiveness are all about. These simple living, humble, camera-shy folk accomodated the world media by allowing a spokesperson to speak on camera of the tragic event, its impact, & the call to love & forgiveness in action as well as in word & in doing so became a witness to the world.
In their pain & grief, they realized that they were not the only victims:that the perpetrator had left behind a wife & child, ignorant of the horrible skeleton in his closet & his evil intent. What a beautiful act of grace & mercy it was to hear that the Amish had started a trust fund for his widow & child-he was after all their provider & protecter until that tragic day. They not only suffered loss, but pain & shame as well & maybe the fear that stigma can bring from guilt of association. My husband heard somewhere recently that they'd been invited for Christmas dinner, by one of the Amish families...
I've always been interested in Amish culture-living simply with family, in their community, where Jesus is worshipped openly in & through every aspect of their lives; being able to share that faith with outsiders who come into their midst- attracted & fascinated by the fact that they are indeed a "peculiar people"-KJV- & they don't blend in-isn't that what true Christianity is all about. I'm not holding them up as the perfect example of what God's Church should be. But Western Christianity can sure learn a lot from their witness this year & their simplicity in life contrasts greatly with the materialism that can come from an unbalanced prosperity message.
I'll get off my soapbox now & let God's Word be the final word:
"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted by the world."- James 1 :27 KJV