A Note of Hope in the Wake of Last Friday

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


My heart is still breaking for the families who lost their loved ones in such a horrific and evil act last Friday. I cannot fathom the pain they are going through this very moment. Seeing the faces of the precious little kids and adults makes me cry. I haven't been able to stop thinking about them and their families. I wrote this post on Monday but felt like it was more important to spend the last few days quiet, praying for them and being thankful for life.

Even just skimming through Twitter or the major news channels, you can see people trying to figure out why this continues to happen, questioning how a person could commit so much evil, and looking for hope.

I actually don't think it's wrong to wonder or say that humanity is lost and our culture with it. I think it's vital to see that! Not in a depressing way; in the most hopeful of ways, because we realize our own true state and that we need a Savior.

Have you ever read the book, The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis? Essentially it's about the devil masking sin in our lives and culture so that we don't realize how fallen we are. The demon in the book slowly tricks people into not thinking about what's right and wrong.. convincing them that evil is normal and ok and acceptable as they inch closer and closer to hell. That's actually exactly how I see nearly every movie out today, tv show and video game that my generation grows up with. Realistic violence and sex are the norm. Today's entertainment is not like the classic Bond movies where someone is killed far away sans blood. Now you have graphic scenes of people being shot in the face, blood splattering on the screen, single-shooter video games gunning down people in civilian clothes on the street, made to look as real as possible. How many hours a day do children and teenagers grow up playing these or watching movies or tv shows with the same senseless violence? I truly think that because of it, so many young adults and kids have become numb, their minds so skewed that they think killing outside of war is normal -- or the worst and hardest to comprehend -- that it's ok. There's a huge discussion in social media and the news right now about mental health, but I think our failing culture that has turned its back on God is enabling the problem to terribly worsen. And we've been accepting it instead of battling it.

After the Aurora, Colorado shooting, Cam and I decided to no longer watch movies or tv shows {we don't own a tv out here so that makes it easy} with realistic violence and sex... which is honestly almost everything. I saw part of the new Bourne movie on the flight from NZ and had to turn it off because of the laboratory scene when the scientist snaps and goes on a killing spree of his co-workers. It looked so real that it was heartbreaking. I felt nauseous because it's a reflection of what's actually happening today in the States.  Cam and I do not judge anyone who watches any of it, and we are the farthest from perfect. We have plenty of our own problems. But we are trying to live intentionally and keep our minds pure. I fully believe that the way you think is the way you act. What pours into our eyes, mind, heart and body is inevitably going to come out in our actions. We want to love and crave God, and serve those around us.

Even amidst such a horrific tragedy, there IS hope! There IS peace. Most especially this beautiful Christmas season! I pray the brokenhearted see and feel it. We won't find the source of it though in our culture, in humanity -- or anywhere else -- other than Christ's saving grace. It is the very sweetest of words. The Gospel starts where I fall on my knees in utter need of it. And my gosh do we need it!

A lot of you likely have a different view, but thank you for reading my thoughts, written completely out of love and sincerity. If you feel like sharing your own in the comments or over email, I'd love to read them.

20 comments:

  1. I found your blog a few months ago, I'm a fellow military spouse living overseas. I've loved your beautiful photographs and lovely recounts of travel, but I haven't commented much before. Today I found myself wanting to.

    I'm not religious, I grew up with Christian traditions and holidays, but mostly identify myself as agnostic. That doesn't mean that my heart wasn't broken by the news of last Friday's tragedy. And I am not without hope for our country and our world. I just wanted to thank you for the peacefulness and sincerity of your post.

    And may your Christmas be merry and bright!

    Meghann@HolaMatrimony

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  2. Thank you, thank you for saying so beautifully what has been on my mind these last few days but have been unable to put them into words. It's very discouraging to see our society succumb to violence and vulgarity, all the while trying to shut God out. How wonderful that we still have the bright hope in our Savior.

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  3. wow...what a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing this with the blog world today. I agree with you completely. We must fix our eyes on the things above, and definitely realize that we are nothing without Him. He is our refuge!

    Hope you and Cam are having an amazing Christmas season!

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  4. The Screwtape Letters was an excellent reference. I love CS Lewis.

    I'm not sure what the answer is - beyond love. If we don't love each other ... what do we have?

    I appreciate your sweet and honest words.

    Bec

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  5. Perfectly said Mands! Love you and miss you!

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  6. Beautifully and sincerely written.

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  7. I think you spoke what's on all of our hearts and minds!!! Jesus, come back to a world that desaparately needs you!! Beautifully written, sweet friend!!! XO

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  8. Thank you for this...and for your witness to hope.

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  9. Thank you for sharing these beautiful and heartfelt words. I've been a follower of your blog for a little bit now and appreciate the genuine truths you point out. Though its not what the world says, through situations like these God is so very real, for if we are able to recognize true evil then we must also acknowledge we have an inner cry to know true Goodness. Light will have the final say, not the darkness. Xo.

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  10. This was a beautiful post and very well put. I agree, I think that so many things are considered far too "normal" when it shouldn't be. I do my best to avoid watching things that disturb me. I don't have kids, but when I do, I'm going to be very careful with the kinds of video games/tv/movies I let them watch. I dont understand how gore filled graphic movies are considered "entertainment". We should never glorify pain and suffering and it should never be considered "normal" or "ok".

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  11. love this post : ) i always leave your blog feeling closer to the lord. bless you, girl, for this!

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  12. you know i love it when you share more of your heart. seriously beautiful love. kev and i are so so so similar in the boundaries we have with media. it's been interesting counseling some of the kids in the neighorhood lately. Last month one of the boys who we adore told me he hadn't been able to sleep in 5 days! I asked him why, and he said he kept having horrible images powering through his mind. I shared how important it is to fill our mind with truth, and encouraged him to stop watching horror movies and listening to violent music. The next week he came and gave me the biggest bear hug and told me he's been able to sleep again. It just confirmed so much to me how filling our mind with Jesus makes all the difference! love you mands...ps, email me your address again, ok? LOVE! katie

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  13. This is SO beautiful Amanda. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this. Your kind and good heart have always shone through your blog, but this especially shows the amazing light that living with intention brings.

    We'll keep praying, keep loving, and keep HOPING for all His promise brings to this fallen world. He's got this :)

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  14. So beautifully written. Is it bad if I want to print this out and frame it?! But seriously, the only thing that gets me through the hard days is knowing that our Lord is going to win in the end! How incredible to know that we serve a God who is so full of grace and mercy. Hope y'all are enjoying this holiday season!

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  15. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am truly moved by them. Btw...your post about what your 20s have taught you brought me to tears. I often feel that I am not enough. Whatever I do is not enough. And your post helped me realize....that my very existence is enough. Thank you:)!

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  16. Thank you for this! What happened is a sad thing we can only hope that God heals and watches over all!! I am going to share this post with my friends its a must read!

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  17. wow amanda - this post is so beautiful and so true. i wholeheartedly believe in setting boundaries as to guard your heart and your mind. but the best part is that there IS hope and there IS peace. and we serve a good god. and god of love. merry christmas sweet friend!

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  18. I'm also not a TV watcher, I don't have cable and I'm ok without it. I find that for the past few days because we've been surrounded by all the details of what happened with the children at the school....all I really want to do is sit and be still, be quiet for a while. Too much noise around me sometimes makes me go in a reflective mode. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  19. This is a wonderful post. I too have had heavy heart regarding the tragedy. To lose a child would be devastating. My prayers have been with these families.

    Our world today is definitely desynthesized to violence and sex. It takes more to wow them. Our family has chosen not to have cable or watch movies. I have been married almost 24 years, I we have never had it in our home. We do it in hopes to have a pure and clean heart. And not to have a cluttered mind with all of that junk. Our pastor talked about the violent games last night. He encouraged us to take look at the violence there too. Our family will continue to take a stand against this in hopes to have a stronger relationship with God with no distractions.

    Thank you again....I am glad that I found your blog and look forward to reading it in the future.

    Nonny
    www.notionsfromnonny.blogspot.com

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  20. Amanda,

    Eloquently and passionately written. I, once again, am in awe of your grace, sincerity, and boldness in speaking of your faith.

    Everyone must choose what is best for them and for you, limiting what you watch is great. I believe in theory that idea is true however, I would probably struggle with following through with it. Not because I want violence or sex but because it has so infiltrated our culture. I am going to be more aware of what I let enter into my mind and make a conscious effort.

    Thank you for sharing. Thank you for continuing to be an example of the kind of women I strive to be.

    If your adventures and travels ever find you in Seattle, I hope to make your acquaintance in person.

    Best,

    Dani // andbubblegum.com

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