I want to express my deepest sympathies to the family, friends and coworkers of those who lost their lives at Martin’s on Wednesday. I hope that the prayers, love and support of many in Elkhart sustain you through this difficult time.
I know that many are asking, “How could this happen in Elkhart?” We are all looking for answers and reasons. At the present time, I am reading “What Good is God?” by Philip Yancey. He spoke to students at Virginia Tech shortly after the massacre on their campus. I believe that what he said about the gunman is relevant to what happened at Martin’s and any other place in this country where lives are ended by violence. “In grief, love and pain converge. Seung-Hui Cho felt no grief as he gunned down your classmates since he felt no love for them.”
Why does this happen time and time again? I don’t have any answers but I have plenty of questions.
Have we lost our sense of community? Have we become so desensitized to violence that a human life means nothing? Are we teaching our children to be bigots and intolerant rather than loving and accepting? How often do we judge and condemn others because they do not have the same beliefs that we do? Has the golden rule become extinct? How long will we continue to ignore and devalue those who have a mental illness?
When we become able to mourn the loss of any life due to violence, whether here in Elkhart or around the world, we will be in a better place.