When the unthinkable happens in our own backyard, its force is so unexpected and stunning, we are left staggering and numb. Some instinctual rage wells up in our collective gut and cries NO! Not this! Not here! And, as that same cry echoes through our collective heart, the mind gropes helplessly for some way to understand. Yet, we remain at a loss.
And, we are likely never to fully know what brought four boys to the Cates home early that Sunday morning to perpetrate such evil on Kimberly and Jaime. We trust that Kimberly now rests in the arms of Grace and we hold Jaime and David in our collective care. For William, Steven, Quinn and Chris, we must raise the sword of justice, not flinch in our duty, and hold each accountable. But, I, for one, believe that true justice will occur beyond our laws. The Bible tells us we reap what we sow. Eastern faiths call it karma. Simply, we don’t get away with anything. At some point, most likely long after the events have faded in memory for most of us, the full force of what each boy has done will well up, unabated, to be purged and reconciled. And, each will know, for himself, the cries for mercy heard long before from Kimberly and Jaime. It is the Divine law, echoed in all traditions, that what we do to another, we do to ourselves.
Meanwhile, what are we to do finding ourselves in the wake of such evil? I say, “Stand up!” Unwavering and undaunted, let’s turn the tide by becoming a Force for Good! Let’s courageously search our own hearts for ways to better see the signs of despair growing among us. Let’s join arm in arm to stand for the disenfranchised so the forces of evil struggle to find places to prey. While we are not individually responsible for the choices and actions of others, we are culpable for the conditions that give rise to such actions. So, as a Force for Good, let’s strive to include all in our collective prayer, the slain, the slayers and their families, as we seek to serve a greater good. And, to those who would ask, “Where was God?” when evil strikes, I would answer, “It is God who waits for us! WE are here to become instruments of divine Grace! WE are here to be a Force for Good!”
We have created a blog called Become a Force for Good! www.becomeaforceforgood.wordpress.com List your organization, what you are doing, what your needs are, where volunteers are needed. Share your inspirational stories, ideas and experiences. Become a Force for Good!
Rev. Stephanie Rutt
Tree of Life Interfaith Temple
Amherst, New Hampshire