The Go-Between’ers

I felt a devastating familiarity, hearing about the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida yesterday.

Photo: Joel Auerbach/AP

These tragedies have become all too common in our current world. Las Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook, San Bernadino, Manchester. It seems like every couple months, the list keeps getting longer and longer.

It’s sickening.

The prayers we plead for the victims and their families seem like they’re falling on deaf Ears. OK God, Where are You? Why do You keep letting these calamities happen? 

And, honestly, it can shake a lot of people’s faith.

How could a good God allow such bad things to happen?

And the only explanation that I’ve been able to find, is that we live in a fallen world. This life is not Heaven. And frankly, we were not made for this world, or to feel at home in it. We’re just passing through. And whether we like to admit it, or believe it, or even entertain the idea, the fact is: there is evil in this world. On the prowl. And we, a fallen people, can fall prey to such darkness.

I know that from personal experience. I did. During my anorexia, I was living captive. I won’t go into detail here, and if you want to read about it, you can do so in this post, but I had an out-of-body experience when the demon – or whatever evil was occupying my spirit – was expelled from my body. But that’s for another time.

There is evil in the world. And we must be diligent to keep the faith, steady our eyes on Jesus, and guard our hearts and minds to the trappings of the evil one.

Yesterday being Ash Wednesday, I always like to do a little experiment. I get my ashes in the morning and then like to walk around to see who else has a soot cross drawn on their foreheads.

And all day yesterday, I did not see a single other ash cross on the streets of NYC. None.

I thought, did I have the wrong day? Where are all the other believers? And granted, I know that not every branch of the faith “does” the ashes, and also – you can be a believer and not go to church – I get that. But where were they?

Here we were, Ash Wednesday – on a day where the nation is in mourning over a horrific tragedy where children were mercilessly shot and killed, you would think that people would flock to church, and that the streets of NYC would be flooded with people proudly wearing their ashes as a sign of support to those who are hurting.

But none.

I have lived in NYC for over seven years. And every year that I have lived and worked in this concrete jungle, I have gone to Mass on Ash Wednesday. And every year, the turnout has dwindled and dwindled. The first year I moved to the city, I went with my friend, and we literally had to stand in the back of the packed-to-the-gills church. It was crazy how many people turned out. But since then, every year, the crowd at mass thinned, until this year, when the church was barely even 1/3 full. Same church. Same time. Same Ash Wednesday service. Where were the people?

I didn’t just go to Mass yesterday. But also, to yoga. My best friend has been studying to get her yoga teacher certification, and yesterday, she taught her first class. And so, being her ride-or-die, I was there, front row, with my camera, cheering her on and contorting my body into unGodly positions.

But she ended her class with a quote, that honestly, made me tear up just a little.

It read: “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

There are a lot of hurting people walking around today. Yes, many because of the heaviness in their hearts from the Florida tragedy. But many for other reasons. Hidden struggles that they carry silently, each and every day.

And every one of us has the ability to be a light to those around us. And we don’t have to wear an ash cross on our foreheads to do so. Sure, that’s one way, but there are so many others.

And frankly, it is our duty. No, God didn’t make these tragedies happen — just like He doesn’t make you or I go out and serve the poor or volunteer our time. We have free will. We have been given the time we have on this earth. And how we choose to spend it is up to us.

And if we really want to live our lives in glory to the Father, other people should be able to witness that by how we live our lives. By the light we cast. By the lives we touch.

What better time than now to start living that way?

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So many people, during tragedies, toss around Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Which is wonderful and good and comforting, yes.

But what if one way He is close to those brokenhearted people, is by using you and me to love them? What if we are supposed to be the “go-between’ers?”

Yes, my heart and prayers go out to the victims and families and those hurting after this most recent tragedy. But more than that, I want my actions to go our to them too. I want to bring light to those whose worlds are darkened today.

Who’s with me?

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183 responses to “The Go-Between’ers”

  1. Being a light is good. I used to have to talk to grieving families in the military. They would say “be professional.” I wasn’t. I would hug them and sometimes I’d cry also. Yeah. You don’t get ovations when you’re nobody. So, I made sure whoever was left felt respected.

  2. Your words are beautiful and they are true. I hope you have started to see yourself as a light in this world, and I’m certain that the cross on your forehead was a symbol and message to many in the city yesterday, whether you knew it or not.

    • Thank you so much Rob, I really appreciate such kind words. That is what I’m working on during lent. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  3. No comments yet – huh?

    So, being a Christian myself I often struggle with tragedies like what happened yesterday and I am nearly always left feeling like there are very few answers. Of course, we need to run to our Lord and Savior during times like this but many do not. I feel therein lies some of the problem.

    We don’t have God – God is taken out of the schools, taken out of many of our social settings because we can’t “offend” anyone,,,goodness no, we can’t do that. We, Christians, are not leading others to God. If there were more God and Christ there would likely be much less of yesterday.

    I could go on and on about this because I feel very strongly that Western society is forcing God out of our lives. Anyway, great topic and we all need to pray – more

    • This is such a powerful reflection. Thank you friend. I know God has been forced out of the picture it’s so sad. To the point where people are ostracized and belittled if they confess their belief. It needs to change for sure. Hugs and love xox

  4. Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world….”

    Thanks for sharing this. You’re absolutely right.

  5. Great message! I was confused by the title at first but once I got to the end it made perfect sense. We all have the chance to spread happiness and light and not enough of us take advantage of that opportunity.

    • Thanks Briana 🙂 yeah, maybe not the best choice in title! haha thanks for reading! Hugs and love xox

    • thanks Jeff, yeah quite a few rabbit holes i explored here. looking forward to your thoughts! Hugs and love xox

  6. I guess I am lucky to live in a small city with plenty of Catholics and a lot of Catholic Churches…plenty of people had ashes on their foreheads yesterday around here, but I agree that the number of regular church goers is dwindling every year.

    I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes:

    “From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge — a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes, so it will lose many of her social privileges. In contrast to an earlier age, it will be seen much more as a voluntary society, entered only by free decision. As a small society, it will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members. Undoubtedly it will discover new forms of ministry and will ordain to the priesthood approved Christians who pursue some profession. In many smaller congregations or in self-contained social groups, pastoral care will normally be provided in this fashion. Along-side this, the full-time ministry of the priesthood will be indispensable as formerly. But in all of the changes at which one might guess, the Church will find her essence afresh and with full conviction in that which was always at her center: faith in the triune God, in Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, in the presence of the Spirit until the end of the world. In faith and prayer she will again recognize the sacraments as the worship of God and not as a subject for liturgical scholarship.”

    – Pope Benedict XVI

    There is always hope in the Lord.

    • Wow, what a powerful quote. leave it to Pope Benedict to really bring it home. thanks for sharing. so glad you stopped by. big hugs xo

  7. That verse you quoted, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit,” when looked at in the original language, could read that the Lord is close to the crushed, and saves those who are contrite in spirit.” It’s all about humility. One can only pray that these tragedies will open this generation to the reality that they need the Lord, but you are absolutely right–Jesus told us that we are “the go-betweeners.” It is our responsibility as Christ’s light bearers to share the gospel with all. If we want the condition of this world to change, we have to realize that it starts with the condition of hearts.
    The verse interpretation is available on

    • thank you so much for this wonderful response, Linda. Amen to that! we are to spread His word and love. Hugs and love xox

  8. I believe what we’re seeing is that two generations are/have been raised without any knowledge of the God of the Bible. When I was growing up, Biblical teaching still saturated our society in the USA even if someone wasn’t a Christian. Now we’re continually inundated with ungodly attitudes and at least two generations with no God in their lives to combat these evil influences.

  9. “…weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). While I weep, I still struggle with how to work…practically, realisticallly. Even as a former/future lay pastor, I’m feeling lost and helpless as to how to contribute to, not merely the discussion (because we all talk too much sometimes), but lasting and systemic solutions. But that’s what Satan wants…to render Christian soldiers ineffective on the battlefield of spiritual warfare due to feelings of helplessness and fatigue. Because it isn’t just mental illness and random violent individuals we’re dealing with…it is a spirit of rage and murder that can only be combat with prayer, the ministry of the Word, and DEMONSTRATIONS of the supernatural love of God in Christ. Comprehensive restructuring/fortification of campus security (I’m a security officer in my other “Clark Kent” vocation) and more effective gun control are also much-needed. May we all seek the Father’s wisdom and direction on how to BE ABOUT His business. All that diatribe/discourse to simply answer your closing question…I’m with you all the way from here in the City of Angels, beautiful soul…

    • Weep with those who weep. i love that. so true. thank you for sharing your powerful thoughts on this. Yes! His business! big hugs xo

    • Indeed brother, The Holy Word is filled with what to do in these type of situations. To add to what you’ve already shared,

      2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
      3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; 7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:2-7 (NASB)

      Special attention to verse four. We suffer so that we may help those who suffer.

    • I love so much about your post, PastorJedi. It is a spirit of rage and murder that demands spiritual warfare. Spirit of hatred and hopelessness. A distinct disregard for human life. It’s demonic, without demonizing the perpetrator. They’re just a vessel. Like Legion in the Gospels who had supernatural strength by the power of the demonic.

      I think systemically, it’s just what you said of “fortification”.

      For the Church, it’s prayer and fasting. Some demons can only be fought with prayer and fasting.


      • Amen. Well said, syreal17. You hit it…”prayer and fasting”. And there is much that we feed ourselves with that we seriously need to fast from. God bless you.

  10. 1 Kings 19:13-18 NIV Bible will be an encouragement for you. Elijah was running away from what he perceived was a dangerous Godless world. He thought he was the only one left who served the true God. God sets him right. There were 7,000 back where he came from running who as a silent minority were keeping the true faith. God reads hearts, but we can only see outward appearance. Be courageous, God had a time frame and out there is space the number of years on this earth is a blip on the screen of eternity. Evil will be dealt with so hang in there we have a better land promised to us if we make the choice to be there.

  11. I was born in Jersey and lived in Brooklyn and Manhattan. I’m sure there are many New Yorkers concerned and dismayed by the Florida tragedy, but you know, people from NYC can get self-absorbed. What a terrible thing in Florida. Thank you for your article.

  12. Well said! So often I find that just being there with people and sitting with them in the loss and ashes speaks volumes. We can never underestimate how God ministers His presence through ours!

  13. There is a verse in the Old Testament, I think one of the prophets, that talks about standing in the gap.Your post made me think of that verse. I’ll have to find it. Good word.

  14. The churches are empty and the crowds aren’t mourning anymore. You can feel it. There’s been a huge shift in the land, on the planet for that matter in the last couple years. We no longer have to meet at a place and keep days on a calendar, and yes we are in a different world too. The only place where peace can be found is in the heart, because that is where Christ is, and that’s the only place we will find him today.
    The best to you and yours!

  15. Agreed, just being by their side and letting them know that you’re there for them is what they need. Sometimes, we don’t have the words to say, so making our presence known is essential. We are called to be the light on the hill, and to not hide our light under a basket.

    • Thanks for this Travis. Amen to that – we’ve got to shine His light from the hilltops!! Hugs and love xox

  16. I appreciate your honesty and transparency. I love the quote you shared from yoga class. In times like these I think about a quote attributed to Mr. Rogers –
    “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

    • thank you so much Cristee, I really appreciate your kind words. I love Mr. Rogers, thanks for sharing that quote. Hugs and love xox

  17. A great post. Sadly, people are using these tragedies for political gain instead of seeing the root of the problem which is discarding God. May you continue to be a great light.

  18. I have been avoiding most everything in print regarding the shooting but gladly read your and it didn’t disappoint. A beautiful take on a terrible situation. I live by the standard of shedding light through my actions. Great post as always

    • thank you Billy Mac, yeah i was hesitant to write about it but i felt an obligation. thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  19. Thanks for your powerful response to the violence in your country. There is so much that can be done to prevent this violence. One would be to reduce the easy availability to guns. I so appreciate your ministry to the world. Sending you a hug.💜💙

  20. A sad one indeed, but one thing is for sure, He will always comfort those that dwell in zion and is able to rebuild, raise and renew the ruins. God alone knows best.

  21. That was so beautifully written. This week has been so hard for me. I am taking a Christian Worldview Class and the subject is “If God is all good and all powerful then why does He allow evil”. Along with that my 21 yr old daughter died of a stroke 2 yrs ago, then this in FL. I could not agree with you more, WE ARE THE HANDS AND FEET of Jesus. People need to hear us, touch us and BE WITH US when they are hurting. Just so they can answer the question WHERE WAS GOD? Thank you for posting this.

    • Thank you so much Shelley, for sharing your story. Gosh, I am so sorry for your loss. I know it was two years ago, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less. I wish I could hug you through the computer right now. That’s so true – we need to be his hand and feet for those around us. Sending you so much love xox

  22. With you, Triple B! Sadly, I agree that the churches aren’t as full as in the past–but God hasn’t changed; He hasn’t given up on us or His Church. I pray that the Holy Sprit of God will move mightily in His People and His Church before Jesus’ returns. Keep doin’ what you’re doin’, Triple B–Your faith and the power of God will keep us on track. He will do all that He has promised–no matter what.

  23. Your faith and commitment is to be commended. You are right that the number of faithful attending services, be they Ash Wednesday Mass or any other celebration of the Lord are getting smaller all the time.
    As a member of the clergy in a church that does not use the symbolic ashes on the forehead as do our Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran and some other brethren, I know that we may account for some of the “unmarked” Christians you saw on the streets, but when the Catholics themselves are 3.8 million strong in NYC, you should have seen more of a presence!
    Regarding the question of why “Bad thins happen to ‘Good people’”, this is something that has been asked for centuries and, as a minister, particularly as a hospital chaplain, I am faced with often. It is not easy to admit or explain that the question should actually be asked in reverse. Since, as you point out, we are a fallen people, why does God allow for any good things to happen to us? We are, after all, bad! Romans 3:23 tells us clearly, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
    So, when we are blessed, let us be thankful to a loving God who has shown us grace and kindness. At the same time, let us pray for those who are suffering in these times of sorrow and give what we can when we can to help them. Just one example taken from Scripture comes from the mouth of our Lord, Himself when asked how to act toward others. We read in Luke 3:10,11, “And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? 11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.”
    Let us be the beacon of light that these people see when they find themselves in darkness.
    God bless you.
    Love and Blessings,

    • Thank you so much Jim. Yeah I was truly shocked I didn’t see a single person with ashes. It was remarkable, and I was milling around all through the day. This is such a powerful reflection. I appreciate this great food for thought. Hugs and love xox

  24. I’m glad to see you wrote about the Florida school shooting. Every day this month I have noticed an uptick in gun attacks, with several police killed nationwide and shootings everywhere. As a nation it feels as if we have gotten used to it but are still sad about it. Our light and our only hope is in Christ Jesus. The light that comes from God and shines through us gives us discernment too, and people of the cross must use that discernment to rid their schools and communities of menancing persons with appropriate measures. Prayer in school is a hope I still have, but the world and the administrators of this world have encased these young people into a humanistic mindset in the public school system which is enforced strictly, though I know a few students still are allowed in some places to pray at the flag pole. Don’t take away real hope from children – teach them, but also show them the way!

    • Thank you so much for your thoughts on this emotional topic. You’re so right – our only hope is in Hope. thanks for stopping by. big hugs xo

  25. I’m envisioning you walking the streets of NYC, looking..hoping.. to connect with others who have the cross..and then I imagine this kid down in Florida going through his life and probably never being able to make any meaningful, relational connections that would have made him feel part of something outside of himself. How profoundly tragic and ultimately catastrophic for so many.

    • thank you so much Cindy, for this reflection. It really is profoundly tragic. thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  26. So eloquent, as always. I couldn’t agree more. We are not living in heaven; we are not living in perfection. The tragedies of this world make us long for our eternal home. These tragedies are truly horrific, and we should comfort the brokenhearted, sharing with them the hope of everlasting peace with God.

  27. The continuing lack of policy related to gun control is morally reprehensible. We the People wishing the best for our children do not care whether big money donors from the gun lobby would be upset by true legislative action. Politicians are intended to be working for our best interests. Guns, guns, guns with no strings attached is a very poor approach in terms of public safety.
    It would be wonderful to see more people from the faith community decide to speak out in support of the many, many families with lives shattered by mass shootings, who are tirelessly working to influence the political realm. It’s a shame that people discount the need for such efforts, saying it’s just a political ploy, when really so much of the effort is driven by love and loss and regular people’s wish for some public good to result from their tragedy.

    • Hi Nichole, thank you so much for thought thoughts on this. It really is such a difficult and emotionally-charged situation. There is so much grey area. Thanks for stopping by. big hugs xox

    • Oh my gosh Mary, thank you. That is incredibly kind of you to say. Hope you have a beautiful weekend. Hugs and love xox

  28. Whether it’s gun violence in schools ro a lack of church participation, for me it all comes down to one thing: pushing God to the backseat.

    In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we don’t reserve even an hour a week for God. He disappears into the background noise of of our Monday through Friday lives. The weekends are spent doing the things that we couldn’t do during the week. Unfortunately, being with God isn’t one of them.

    This attitude is passed down to our children who don’t develop a curiosity for God because the parents don’t pass it down to them. The parents are so wrapped up in other things that some barely have time for their kids.

    If God and the Bible were back in the public arena, I think there would be less violence in general because morals would be taught in schools.

    We should be a light to the world for sure; not just to bring joy to others but to help spread the Gospel message.

    In case you were interested, Chris Rice wrote a song called ‘Go Light Your World.’

    • I think you’re right – Society has been pushing Him ito the backseat and even out of the vehicle altogether. Very sad. Gotta keep Him front and center. Hugs and love xox

  29. “Yes, my heart and prayers go out to the victims and families and those hurting after this most recent tragedy. But more than that, I want my actions to go our to them too. I want to bring light to those whose worlds are darkened today.”

    You have said it the best.

    This happened just miles from my home. I have seen too many people say “I don’t want your thoughts & prayers”. It has made me sadder. We NEED to pray. But we also need to act; to be the light.

    I am not a fan of saying “prayers alone are not enough.” I think my God can do anything. But I do also think that prayer often leads to action if you’re doing it right.

    • Thank you for your kind words Gina. Gosh I’m so sorry that this tragedy has touched your community. Yes we do need prayer. And yes May it lead to action. Keeping you and your community close in heart and prayer. Hugs and love xox

  30. The bible says in the last days, the love of many will wax cold. There’s no love anymore but it also said; If my people which are called by my name, will humble themselves – pray- seek my face – turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and heal the land. I’m with you girl, anyway or anything I can do to spread light….that’s what I want to do.

  31. What a true word, Caralyn – of evil, and being diligent.

    In thought, I am certainly more ‘on earth as in heaven’ than ‘passing though’; yet, something is passing away…

    I like the candle metaphor. A gift, to be kept with diligence, and yes, shared

  32. Yes, I agree that we are, as you said, the “go-between’ers”. It’s God’s work and our hands. And that means we need to be with people and be present to their pain and suffering. Thanks for your reminder that the world’s problems are mostly people problems, and we can be the solution. BTW, thanks for supporting my blog! Would you send me an email address that I can contact you with. It’s about helping people blog better. I’m at

  33. In many ways, I see people not responding from saturation of mass shootings in the USA, neighborhood bombings in the Middle East, threats of missle launchings from North Korea, etc. Living in a rural area where most folks have arsinels of guns at home, I wonder when such an even will happen here. Seems fatalistic. – Oscar

  34. Hello again. Amen to you for sharing your own story related to evil. There’s so much I want to share but I will be brief. I’m currently undergoing severe spiritual warfare, WE ALL ARE. Most are simply not aware, don’t know the signs, or how to recognize it, and due to lack of knowledge.

    There could be a mountain of guns everywhere, and never be used and viewed as harmless if we were not continually being bombarded from every possible angle by the numerous invisible spirits, and men who are actively practicing occult, wicca, magic, all the like.

    Back to your Ash Wednesday experience, plz, do not be upset with me for what I am going to share although I know it will upset you. So forgive me. I’ve learned in a small tiny portion what King Solomon meant when he said

    Ecls 1:17

    18 For in much wisdom is much grief, and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

    Remember in Pet cemetery when the old man says: “sometimes dead is better”

    I don’t agree with that part, but you get the point. At times when we think we have escaped and been delivered from evil spirits and all is good now, everything is going great, and we can feel and sense God working in us, and also see the marvelous change in our actions, speech, choices, well we easily then once again can become victims, … And still presently are.!!

    the more you know and can see, the more you cry and don’t want to see anymore.

    I know you don’t know this otherwise you wouldn’t be going, but the ritualistic practices in the catholic religion are not for God. Yes in your heart I know what your doing is for him, …. But these men are wolves in sheep covering, just yesterday i was in deep prayer thanking god for all the wonderful acts the Angels do, all they done for me, and my family, i cant see then but i know they are there as fine examples for us, and my heart is pouring out to God, i asked God to please give them a small gift, for all they do to inspire us, at that time with my eyes closed I saw a ring, I opened my hand and it slid on. I was ecstatic, I was obviously overjoyed thinking it was a gift from God for me asking for them. I heard ” it will protect you” and I could see it shined forth light. Literally.

    Now, a few hours later being that I’ve been dealing with these attacks consistently all day, I went to a site that I’ve known of for a while.. Deliverance site and spiritual warfare. To my astonishment I read, “and be careful with RINGS ” OMG. tell me about it. Think about how clever and opportunistic these things we are dealing we are. This ring could of been giving to me by a demon and I had it on my hand, and I could see the light coming from it. After that, I asked god plz my lord, i rebuke any gift that does not originate with Christ and I command it away from me. I saw it attempt to come off, then it would slid back on, but I finally got it off.

    And guess what else was on that site BB? the ritualistic practices of the catholic religion. Isn’t that awful! People all over the place participating in these things and not understanding who really is behind it. And what they are participating in, and what it really signifies. BB, Today as I walked I saw things I’d rather not. Its almost unbearable. When your eyes are opened to see just how much influence there is, then you realize why Christ was crucified. That’s what this world is. And we are in it. food. Water. Conglomerate business, magazines that appear normal bit aren’t, its too much. Men who see get killed, as our Christ did for sharing this knowledge. U think they want people to see? people think they okay, and not in harms way, that have no f clue!. How is that possible when we are in the world walking amidst all these fallen angels and evil men in cohoots with them. Plz just delete this. Its too painful. I almost rather not shed the light because it hurts so much. Its just for u to read. People don’t want to know. In case u want to see for urself the site
    I would not share it if it were not true. Links are at the bottom, and yes I know u will think its overboard, it is not. Later You’ll be like I’d rather not know anymore.

    • I wouldn’t mind if you deleted both parts of the poem. I would if I could. I emotionally process through poetry and have a bad habit of posting poems that I should keep to myself. Though your post genuinely evoked that response from me, I think I’ll keep future comments to encouragement. Your post really was thought-provoking, and I really appreciate the Scripture you include in it, as well as your experience of loneliness in your Ash Wednesday. It was my first time doing Ash Wednesday and I was surprised by the heaviness of it. But it fits with these times, and thank God for His salvation through Jesus Christ! Though we mourn with those who mourn, we rejoice in the end, because our Father God makes all things new and right.

      Thank you for your graciousness.

  35. A friend of mine asked on Facebook, “why do the kids who did this not know how much God loves and cherishes them?”

    Here’s my thoughts:

    I bet even back home in olton, if you polled the jh hs kids, you would find a dozen who’ve never heard the name Jesus. It’s heart breaking to see, hear, and know.
    Something that’s hit me quite a bit in the last two years as we’ve been fostering is just how important it is to let Christ shine through us in all we do. Sometimes we are truly the ONLY way people hear the truth and often they hear it and then watch us to see how real it is within us.
    How many fewer would die, how many fewer families would be broken, how many less would turn to drugs, how many could we affect positively if we simply lived our faith boldly, openly, and daily? [In response to another comment about the supreme court decision to take the bible out of schools] God did get kicked out in 63, but have we done ANYTHING to invite Him back in or is that decision by people in D.C. merely our scape goat for letting it get this bad?
    We can’t change the world, but we can be God’s hands and feet to bring change to every heart and soul we meet today, tomorrow, and forever. Let that spread like a fire around us and before long God can not only change our world, He’ll renew and remake it into something better.

    • thank you for sharing this powerful reflection, J. what an incredible gift you’re giving those kids you’re bringing into your home. that is truly beautiful. Hugs and love xox

  36. Amen Carolyn. I feel that because we as human beings continue to see and hear news of another mass shooting and everything in between, I feel that we have become desensitized by all of the violence around us.

    I like when you said, “And every one of us has the ability to be a light to those around us.” and this reminded me of a verse in Matthew 5:14 where Jesus says that we are to be the light of the world. Sometimes, God may use the tragedies in our lives, even ones as horrific as this to let others know that the light they are looking for; while comes from Him can be shown through us on Earth.

    • Thank you friend. Yeah definitely desensitized. It’s very sad. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  37. “And if we really want to live our lives in glory to the Father, other people should be able to witness that by how we live our lives. By the light we cast. By the lives we touch.” Amen! Outstanding post! Have a blessed Lenten season.

  38. My first thought was to encourage you to read Habakkuk 1-2…
    But I would like to note, possibly along with others in the comments, that God was there. He was there in the hearts of those who died saving others, of those who had courage while fear was running overtime in their minds, and those who ran towards the pain rather than away from it.

  39. The love of many will wax cold but the overdose of violent images can be dehumanising too. When people ask how many this time?, I feel like screaming even 1 soul matters.

  40. Great message – be a go-betweener. I was at a women’s bible study Wednesday and the speaker asked us what is today? Everyone yelled out Valentine’s Day. She then asked what else is it? Granted we were an evangelical group and do not do Ash Wednesday. Still it was sad to me that no one realized it was the start of Lent. Coming from an evangelical background (whatever that means) I fear we have lost something when we rejected a lot of tradition in the church. Thank you for wearing those ashes and being a go-betweener.

    • Thanks Barbara 🙂 yeah I hear you on that. How awesome that you’ve got a great bible study though! Sounds like fun! Hugs and love xox

  41. This is beautiful. Just beautiful.

    I miss the world I grew up in But it’s gone, and so we must fight for the world we believe in. With everything we have.

    As a New York boy who knew the Towers for all the many possibilities they enlisted, I love this post that much more. We sing to find the beauty, we fight to find the song. And this here post of yours allowed me the sanctity. So thank you.


  42. Great post, well said! God bless you for proclaiming your faith with the ash cross, I’m sure it was a witness to many. I tend (probably wrongly) to think of New York as a very godless place (from what I’ve read/ seen) so I was actually more surprised to hear you did that than I was to see christians sporting “Jesus saves” T shirts in communist China lol!
    Regarding the shootings, there are many angles, but I think one has to be, when you ban God from schools one can’t turn around and say “how come this happenned God?” If you don’t recieve the truth you get strong delusion. When you take God out of the picture and replace him with evolution with its ideology of survival of the fittest, which spawned eugenics and fascism. add in violent media etc. this is the fruit.
    I do believe gun control is part of the issue and thorough screening should be put in place, but it’s more complex than it seems at first glance. I understand people are afriad of the transition phrase. They want to defend themselves in a violent society, it’s different here in the UK where we’ve always had strict gun laws and our police, God bless them, choose not to carry guns etc. Though terrorist attacks are prevelent everywhere only in the USA do we find frequent school attacks etc. perhaps because in most non communitist countries prayer is a daily occurence?

    • Hi Claire, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. lots of powerful nuggets of truth here. you’re right – it is a very complex issue that is tied to strong emotions on all sides of the issue. glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox

    • oh friend, my prayers are with you. what an important job you do. especially now. Hugs and love xox

  43. I’ve recently had eye surgery so please forgive any spelling errors (at least now I have an excuse!). You’re right… where ARE all the Christians? Where are the people who claim to believe in Christ? Where is the humility, the discipline, the sanctity of life? How can a society that has allowed movies and games about death think the darkness can be contained in one spot? Even my own mother, a professed Christian, does not believe prayers needs to be allowed back into schools. What? People are being taught that any life that stands in your way of what you want is expendable or, at the very least, able to be trampled upon in order so that you can do what you want. That’s how animal rights activists feel it is ok to scream for the deaths of people while protecting animals. That is how, people who call for the death of the president and hold up a fabrication of his severed head remain out of prison. That is how people justify living together before marriage. Abstinence is ‘old fashioned’ traditions are lame, people are usable and toss-able. Unforgiveness is now seen as noble… a badge of honor. If you forgive, abstain, act in a humble manner or chose to serve others and put them ahead of yourself, you are considered a moron and a door mat. People say, ‘sorry you got offended’ instead of, ‘I’m so sorry I offended you. I was out of line’. No body admits fault anymore, takes responsibility or repents (apologizes for their, or their child’s actions. I’m ready to go be a hermit in the desert now, please.

    • Hi Melissa! Keeping you in my prayers after your surgery! I hope you have a speedy recovery. Lots of powerful food for thought here, thank you. Yeah there’s a lot of backwardness in society that is seen as gospel. Hugs and love xox

  44. The Old Testament Book of Job addresses this question beautifully, but not the way most people think. I was part of a sermon series on this last Lent. Out of that came the devotional book I Know That My Redeemer Lives. (Order a copy at ).
    By the way, I had ashes on my forehead all day as well!

    • Thanks Ed! I’ll definitely have to check that out. Sounds like an awesome devotional! Hugs and love xox

  45. Thank you for your post. I admire your journey and your honesty. I believe a Major problem with Christians is they tend to be very apathetic. I disagree with your statements about this world is not our home and Christians do not feel at home here. Apathy of what happens on earth is a direct side effect of being so heavenly minded. The reality is planet earth is our home, and we should live out that reality every day instead of daydreaming about heaven and wishing to be out of earth (I know plenty people like that). To use a metaphor, if where I live isn’t my home, then why would I be motivated to pull weeds or fix a broken fence? You as a Christian seem to be doing a good job at making this world a better place, but I’d say the same cannot be said for quite a few other Christians.

    • thank you Andrew. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this. You’re absolutely right – i don’t think we should be daydreaming about Heaven either. I just meant that we need to keep in perspective that our ultimate goal is to live a life that points to our Maker. I like to think of it as our life being a marathon, and Heaven is the ultimate finish line. The goal, if you will. So therefore, everything we do in life – including taking care of the earth, and loving people, and “pulling weeds” and whatnot – is with that perspective. 🙂 Hope that clears things up! thanks again for stopping by! big big hugs to you x

  46. Hugs!! This tragedy is another example of the need for gun control, and also addressing mental health. I agree, military assault weapons should not be accessible. But, what is being done to help people who like this killer, are left to fall through the cracks of society? So many of these mass killers, be it schools, be it movie theaters, be it wherever, have had things snap that really needed some help earlier. Yes, we need to do our best with every person we see every day. We need to be God’s instrument of His channel of peace. Love and hugs xoxoxoxo

  47. Your post touches on interesting ideas. As much as we today wrestle with how a loving God could allow children could be murdered, consider what the people of a couple of generations ago were confronted with when millions of children were murdered by a totalitarian regime, often in heinous fashions. Or how a loving God could allow such atrocities as the Rwandan genocide, the Killing Fields of Cambodia, Stalin’s Gulags, etc. The list is a long and depressing one. And it is, as you correctly point out, because He gave us Free Will. Some use it well, some use it poorly and some use it for evil.

    Without Free Will we would, I suppose, be nothing more than wind-up toys, going through preordained motions. And that would not be much of a life. We will never be able to create a heaven on Earth because that would remove the purpose of heaven itself. And if we could create heaven on Earth, what incentive would we have to strive to be more Christ-like in our actions? Besides, I personally believe that heaven, the real heaven, is far beyond what we can comprehend.

    Thank you for a thought-provoking post, for not pointing fingers and for issuing a non-partisan call to action.

    • thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. what a powerful perspective. very true – I think Heaven is going to be absolutely incredible and beyond our wildest dreams!! big hugs to you xox

  48. Read and reread your post. When I hear the question, where was God in a time of trouble, Mark 5:45 comes to mind:

    “…That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust…”

    You are right Cara, we live in a fallen world, bad happens to the innocent, good happens to the guilty, and vice versa.

    We need to remember the Proverbs 8:36:

    “…But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death…”

    All that hate God love death. Whomever it is, from rulers to common thieves or murderers, I think fall into the hating God group.

    Living in a world corrupted by sin, with ourselves having a sin nature, its not hard to see why these events occur. I’m not cold to the loss, pain, or suffering, but it doesn’t surprise me.
    These types of senseless killings have gone on since before the flood. In every war in every age, today in Iraq and across the muslim and non-muslim world, people are continuing to hate God and thereby loving death, continuing to fill either heaven or hell’s gates.

    My thoughts, when these things happen is how many were believers? How many Pastors or Priests failed reaching those lost in a senseless murder? Their body may be dead, but now those killed have crossed through that veil into eternity. Lives may be lost, but souls are the prize, in my mind I think often about who was if anyone, were guiding those lost, in spiritual matters.

    Gotta git, love your article.

    • Thank you Mr. Smiff. I’m so glad this resonated with you. What a telling scripture verse. Thank you for this powerful food for thought. Hugs and love xox

      • Definitely resonated.

        Most every article of yours I’ve read has overtures & applications that can reach far beyond the inferred target.

        You write about the loss of some of your childhood, yet you’re showing wisdom beyond your years gained from the loss, hardships, and personal struggles.

        Your love, humility, and honor of the Father, Son, and Spirit continually show forth without shame.
        Your sense of dignity and personal integrity, consistent with their proper use, echoes across your blog…. really shines bright in your v-card article. 😉

        And yes Caralynn, God is still working with your clay, but He is using your hands (heart, mind, & love) to mold others.

        God bless

      • I am so touched by this. Thank you again. Have a beautiful Wednesday! Hugs and love xox

  49. I’m with you on this! Let us let our light shine towards those in the darkness! My prayers and thoughts are ever with the families of Florida. God bless you and keep your family safe in Jesus Name! 🙏💕✨xxoo

  50. This is the point most of us are missing. You’re hitting the nail on the head. If God’s people really lived the way God has called us to live, I believe we would be amazed at the difference in the earth. So much of this stuff we want to blame on God, is really a reflection of our own condition. God has challenged us and empowered us to live a very special kind of love known as agape. He even came here himself, taught us and showed us what it looks like. It bears a strange resemblance to a cross. Like it or not, we are to blame for a lot of the pain happening in our day. This earth is our chance to prove we are truly the Bride of the Lamb, or not. And it is a spiritual warfare. A warfare we have been called to. A battle only the Bride is equipped to fight. I was reading an early church father the other day, I believe it was Justin Martyr. He was talking about how demons are behind murders and killings because they desire human sacrifices. I never thought of tragedies like this having a root cause of demons manipulating a human to give them human sacrifice. I found myself asking, do they do this because it somehow makes them stronger? Or is the fact they are able to do this, a sign to us that they are already growing stronger by some other means? Personally, I think the later is the answer. I know this is hard to think about, but I would rather think about such hard things and possibly prevent the real pain of doing nothing, and then trying to blame God. When we cross to that other side, only truth will stand. All lies, rationalizations, and excuses will have fled like darkness before light. I hope people take to heart what you said in this article. I hope my words prove to “amen” your point. I know it’s a lot to think about.

    • Thank you so much for your powerful thoughts on this. Agape love – yes!! Truly the best kind. Thank you for your encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  51. The World’s Bible

    We are the only Bible the careless world will read,

    We are the sinner’s Gospel; we are the scoffer’s creed.

    We are the Lord’s last message given in deed and word,

    What if the type is crooked? What if the print is blurred?

    What if your hands are busy with other work than His?

    What if your feet are walking where sin’s allurement is?

    What if our tongues are speaking of things His lips would spurn?

    How can we hope to help Him and hasten His return?

    To hasten our Lord’s return we truly need more power.

    So let us all be Spirit filled and awaiting Him each hour.

    In an hour that we think not, He said He should appear.

    Then let us walk in Holiness and meet Him with a cheer.

    + Part of a poem by Annie Johnson Flint

    • Thank you so much Stephanie. I really appreciate your kind words. Hugs and love xox

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