Inviting Comfort

From the Christian Science Monitor…

Previous school shootings, notably the 1999 murders at Columbine High School, have led to calls for any number of useful, preventive measures, such as tighter security, more federal gun control, antibullying training for young children, more parental vigilance in communities, and closer screening of wayward students. And perhaps, as a result, many shootings have been prevented.

Those Old Order Amish who live a secluded life near the school at Nickel Mines, Pa., have a different idea. Their faith in the power of forgiveness led them to invite the widow of the nonAmish killer, Charles Carl Roberts IV, to the funeral for four of the slain girls. One Amish woman told a reporter, “It’s our Christian love to show to her we have not any grudges against her.”

This isn’t surprising. It is common for the Amish to invite car drivers who have killed one of their community members to the funeral. Such a compassionate response reveals a belief that each individual is responsible to counter violence by expressing comfort – a sort of prayer in action.

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