Comforting those affected by Columbia Mall Shooting

All of Maryland and beyond are comforting those involved in the shooting at Columbia Mall  Saturday as well as those who are friends of the victims and their families.  We are also seeking to comfort the family of the shooter.  We are embracing all in love, compassion, and heartfelt prayers.

Whether one believes in God or not; whether one believes in eternal life or not; there is nothing that can separate these dear ones from the hearts that knew them, loved them, were inspired by them, were joyful because of their presence.

All embracing arms of Love "are beneath, around, above." flickr.com by writerscafe.org

All embracing arms of Love “are beneath, around, above.” flickr.com by writerscafe.org

No one involved in this tragedy will be forgotten or overlooked.  We will hold each of them in a love that goes beyond any human source of comfort.  All who were touched by that day at the Columbia Mall are held in the all embracing arms of the Almighty who is Love, a Love that is Almighty.

The good works and deeds of those lost will continue forever, because all good is eternal. The blessing, love, joy and promise they embraced will continue to be active in the hearts of many.

A well-known and much loved Christian Science hymn of comfort begins:

“Everlasting arms of Love are beneath, around, above;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              God it is who bears us on, His the arm we lean upon.

He our ever-present guide faithful is, whate’er betide;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Gladly then we journey on, with His arm to lean upon.” (1)

Brenda Evers, a member of my blog team, felt impelled to share an experience she had when she was carjacked at gunpoint and how, through prayer, was able to forgive the perpetrator.  Here is her story:

The recent mall shooting in Columbia, Maryland, brought to mind the many such shootings over the last few years.  It also brought to mind possible solutions.  Better gun control, better mental healthcare and better methods of identifying early warnings in the shooters all have been proposed and discussed at length.

A less discussed solution, but one becoming more apparent, is a spiritual one.  It may not be at first obvious, but the following are possible spiritual solutions:

1.  a recognition of the sacredness of all life.

2.  a recognition of each individual’s worth.

3.  a recognition that frustration and despair are impositions on anyone’s thought rather than an integral part of thinking.

4.  a recognition of the brotherhood of all people.

Any one of these could be the subject of an extensive blog, but let me just take one–the recognition of the brotherhood of all people.

Once when my husband and I lived in an apartment in Los Angeles, my car was stolen from me at gunpoint.  In the darkness of the early morning hours, a man ran into my car from behind as I was pulling away from our home to go to work. Thinking it was an accident, I got out of the car to talk to the driver.  I saw the gun after he said he would shoot me if I didn’t get out of his way.  He jumped into my car, drove away, leaving the idling, stolen car he was driving in the street.

I was shaken, but was able to eventually get help from a neighbor and the police.  But before this, I sat outside my apartment, trying to not succumb to hysteria.  I realized that I had a choice.  I could let this event overwhelm me, or I could seek a spiritual solution.  As was my practice, I reached out to God.  I got the clear direction: “You must see him as your brother”.  As much as I rebelled against that thought, I was immediately obedient and all fear and anger left me.

Eventually, my car was returned intact, which I was told was amazing in itself, and the man was apprehended.  Whether he was tried and served time, I never found out.  He had been party to many more crimes than the one that he visited on me.  However I felt I had done my part in reducing crime and the helplessness, fear and anger that goes with it.  I had seen him as my brother and forgiven him.

I hope that all of us that are touched by the event in Columbia can do likewise.  This may go further than we can imagine to reduce crimes such as these.

1)      John R. Macduff

Brenda, a member of Kate’s blog team, is a writer who loves to learn about and share with readers the connection between spirituality and health. In addition, she is a Christian Science Practitioner in Ellicott City, Maryland.  

Kate is interested in blogging about health, health care, spirituality, Christian Science, science, religion, the importance of prayer in maintaining a healthy mind and body.  She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media, legislative and public contact for Christian Science in the state of Maryland. 

 

 

 


3 Comments

  1. Love this article.

  2. Kate Johnson

    Thank you Brenda for sharing that experience. It is inspiring and helpful to many of us.

  3. Brenda Evers

    It was my pleasure to share this. It is good to know that God is always present to help.