The shootings at Clackamas Town Center really make one think about their own mortality. In fact I have a couple of friends who just left before it happened and I thank God for that.
[Note: It seems I can't even keep up with everything, since I wrote most of this before I heard of the even worse atrocities in Connecticut and and China. It's too much to process at once. However the Clackamas shootings really hit home, because it was in Portland.]
Why would someone do something like this at Christmas time? It’s crazy, but the thing is though most people wouldn’t go shooting people, many do carry bitterness.
There’s a lot of reasons and it can get complicated. Basically things that should’ve happened didn’t and things that shouldn’t have happened did. We can blame the world, the church, family, authority figures and even God.
Many struggle with loneliness and I do know how you feel. One thing I’ve learned the hard way is that when you get bitter it makes the loneliness worse, because others don’t want to be around you.
But I really have been healed of a lot of bitterness. I’m still not a huge Christmas fan myself, because it doesn’t match my taste in aesthetics. I’d rather spend my time writing music than decorating or go hiking rather than shopping. However I do enjoy my When Augustus Reigned-Byzantine album, Handel and good tradition.
So hold your loved ones close, enjoy every special moment with them and thank God for protection and provision.
If you’ve struggled, can we put the bitterness aside for a couple weeks? You don’t have to be fake or sing cheesy songs or anything like that. But make that awkward phone call to your relative or friend. Sing a worship song like you mean it and take it to the cross. SPEAK words of thanks and encouragement to others.
You might find you enjoy it and others will too.