Saturday, October 07, 2006

Just When I Was Going To Stop Reading The Newspaper...

I like having the daily paper delivered. Besides the way-cool Sunday coupon inserts and the "Get Fuzzy" cartoon I am a raving fan of...( a guy and his neurotic dog and cat...ok, well, it works for me...) I do read the news, although after millioneth bad-news, multi-person, family homicide story, I started to wonder whether it was worth reading anymore. When I found myself in tears, on the floor, clutching my infant twins and praying for their safety in this chaotic world where, according to the newspaper, every outing to Walmart is a gamble where Joe Schmoe from Idaho could be planning a massacre with a variety of firearms, I realized it might be time to start checking out my cartoon on the Internet instead. But this morning I was actually INSPIRED by the news and not because the Tennessee Volunteers won (which they will tonight...because they RAWK!) but because of a little nun named Sister Mary Dennis Lentsch who came home to our town on a Greyhound bus after serving a 6-month sentence in Federal prison on tresspassing charges.

Sister Mary and about 30 others crossed a fence at Ft. Benning, GA during a protest against a training center they blame for human-rights violations in Latin America. She said she'd do it again if she had the chance. Did I mention that she is 69 years old? "I really believe that everything we do makes a difference," she said. "Sometimes it's something so little. We just have to keep working for peace and justice."

If that weren't enough to inspire me to "Be not afraid" in my own battles, I then read about the funeral services for five little Amish girls who were killed by a gunman who was "angry with God." I am inspired by 13-year old Marian Fisher who, bound by the gunman along with the other girls and her younger sister, asked that he "Shoot me and leave the other ones loose." It made me wonder how she could have been so brave, just a baby at 13 years of age. Reading further, I began to understand. One Amish woman told the Los Angeles Times "I am very grateful thatI was raised to believe that you don't fight back. You should forgive." According to Amish belief, you can't be healed unless you forgive. They believe that vengeance is indeed God's and that forgiveness is necessary. And compassion. 13 year old Marian Fisher was raised to believe in God's word and because of that, she faced death willingly in the hope that the other girls with her would be spared. "No greater love hath a man than this...than to lay down one's life for one's friends." When I think about how afraid I am of so many things, I think of christians like Sister Mary Dennis and Marian Fisher, both from different faiths, one 13 years old and the other almost 70, both strengthened by Christ and defiant of the adverse spirit of this world, knowing that through Him we can do all things.


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