The shooting at the Unitarian church in Knoxville has been much in the news. It is a church my sister- and brother-in-law once attended and where they knew some in attendance during the shooting. It is also the church pastored by the brother of my fellow Diocese of Georgia priest, Sam Buice. His brother, Chris, was away, not quite back from a sabbatical.
So I have these distant connections to a church I have never attended (and whose theology I don't share) which show how far ripples go out from tragedies. How many people were effected by the shootings at Virginia Tech? How many affected by the double murder a few weeks back here in Camden County? The ripples go out to far distant shores as people reassess their lives in the wake of senseless tragedy and loss.
The ripples sent out by good actions never seem to go as far as those of evil. The Unitarian Church in Knoxville worked on issues homelessness and economic injustice and yet they were targeted as liberals (see the AP article). His evil intent and violent actions have gained far more attention and sent out such overwhelming waves of fear, anger and an inexpressible sorrow at the human condition.
We can stand with this church against the violence by showing love and compassion all the more despite the harm others may do. We trust that the ripples that flow outward from acts of love and kindness also effect others far distant from the initial source. We hope that the good we try to do is stronger than the evil others seek to perpetrate.
We see the violence. We give thanks that the man didn't kill an injure as many as he wanted. And we continue to live the best we can, trusting that the ripples of love and compassion will create a stronger tide to turn back the waves of hatred and fear.
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor
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