Good News in the Midst of Sadness

In the midst of the tragedy and sadness of the recent shooting at the Navy Yard here in DC, I am reminded that this life is so short. Scripture tells us that our lifespan is a mere breath, here for a moment and then gone (Psalm 39:11). Proverbs 27:1 reminds us of the folly of boasting about tomorrow, as we do not know what a day may bring forth. In light of that, our days should be marked by a sense of urgency. There are eternities at stake, eternities that should give us courage and motivation to pursue Christ passionately, to share the gospel freely and with boldness, to speak into a dark and broken world and bring the light so desperately needed. Let us remember those who were killed, pray for their families, and live with the gospel always on our lips.

As I was reading about this tragedy this evening, I stumbled across a few encouraging stories of hope, and lives being changed around the US. One of them is the story of a pastor’s wife in Tennessee who started ministering to strippers in Nashville, building relationships and sharing the gospel with them, helping them shed their past and create a new life in Christ. Her love for these women is clearly evident, and an example to me of loving and serving those who live a completely different lifestyle than mine.

The second story is from New York City, where a group called the New York City Young Men’s Initiative has founded the “Fatherhood Academy” to help men learn responsible fatherhood. These men attend a program three nights a week for several months to earn their GED, prepare for college, learn life skills, get job experience, and receive advice and encouragement to step up as dad’s to their children. Started in 2012, they have already had 82 graduates from the program!

And just for fun, watch a time lapse video of the raising of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy over the past two days. Quite a contrast between the side that was out of the water and the side of the boat that has been sitting in the muck and mire for months on end, and what an amazing feat of engineering it took to get it upright!