10/04/06 — Sad day for all: Town’s loss is being handled with a faith to be admired

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Sad day for all: Town’s loss is being handled with a faith to be admired

For the people of Lancaster County, life will never be the same. This week, one of their own, a man they went to church with and whose children were beside theirs in school, took a gun and shot six Amish girls in their small schoolhouse.

No one will ever understand why this tragedy happened or what could have been the divine plan in this loss of lives.

But this community understands that what is important now is not finger-pointing, angry words and their differences.

They have decided to make this their chance to pray together and to comfort each other.

The two groups involved are different. The Amish have already forgiven the shooter — as their religion requires.

And they have allowed the interference in their simple, calm way of life so that the grief does not need to be borne by one community alone. They hope their example will show that God’s love is without denomination or boundaries.

To watch them grieve and to watch this town share and care for each other is an unintended blessing that came from such a horrific act. And it is a model for anyone who has to deal with a crisis that is so terrible that it seems like it is insurmountable.

They might not ever forget that day in the schoolhouse, but this community will always remember how it felt to be there for each other. And they will be stronger because of that lesson learned.

Published in Editorials on October 4, 2006 11:09 AM