By Terry Abel

“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.”  Isaiah 66:13

Like many people, I try not dwell too much on the fact that we had a shooting in San Jose toward the end of May.

When I was growing up, you never heard about shootings, but now it almost seems like they’re common place.  One of the worst ones was the elementary school massacre that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut back in 2012.  The interesting fact about this was that hundreds of thousands of Americans turned to, of all people, Mr. Rogers, to lessen their distress over the tragedy, even though he’d been dead for almost ten years.  Advice he had shared earlier from his mother, a strong Christian, really helped people cope with the trauma.  When young, he would get extremely upset when he saw something frightening in the news, and his mother would tell him, “Look for the helpers.  You will always find people who are helping.”  Rogers is quoted as saying, “To this day, in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am comforted by realizing there are still so many helpers, — so many caring people in the world.”

His mother was a helper in the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic.  Just as that catastrophe came to an end, so hopefully will this pandemic, as well as these horrible shootings.  While we can’t always change these events as quickly as we’d like to, perhaps by remembering the wisdom of the mother of cardigan clad, gentle Fred Rogers, we can have a more positive attitude toward them.

Heavenly Father,

When tragic events happen, help us remember the helpers.  Even in our day to day lives, when we may get down about personal events we may be experiencing, help us see the lights in the darkness, and remember the helpers, those people around us who help lighten up the darkness we may be experiencing.  And if we are a helper, help us think about the quotation, “It is better to be a light in a chamber, than a star in the sky.”  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen

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