Faith, Hope and Love. The greatest of these is love. So says the apostle Paul to a fractured community of people trying to be faithful. Let’s be clear the people in ancient Greece, to whom this was addressed—well they were a mess—but nothing compared to the times we find ourselves in.
But I am here today, because as a faithful person, as an American, I do not believe that the shooting in Newtown is the end of the story. I am here today as a faithful American because I cannot believe that our country will settle, will allow bullets and guns to have the final word.
Newtown mother, Nelba Marquez-Greene, mother of 6 year old Anna Grace, slain a year ago today, Nelba Marquez-Greene says, “At the end of [the]day, I don’t know why this happened. I didn’t get to choose it. But I get to choose my response now. I do get to choose now.”
At a conference, after the shooting and she was setting up candles for each of the lives lost on Dec 14. She thought to herself “Do we have a table with 26 candles or 28 candles?” She put out 28, remembering the shooter who killed himself and his mother, “We put out 28 because it is the gesture of compassion we need to move forward.”
Not long after her daughter Ana was murdered, Nelba says they started a chant in her house, she has no idea how it started, but she says, “We say it to keep Ana’s spirit with us. “Love wins. Love wins.” That is what we taught her: to honor and to praise and to be loving.”
The love, Nelba is talking about, the Love, the apostle Paul is talking about is not sappy. It is not the equivalent, of lighting a candle, shedding a tear, and placing a teddy bear in memory. The love that is required of us, as Americans, as people of good will, for myself as a person of faith, the love that is required of us is action.
What are we going to do? How do we enact our beliefs, embody our faith, and prevent the next Newtown, before it happens. What are you going to do?
Does this country need better mental health services? What are you going to do about that?
Does this country need better laws to protect our children and keep them safe?
What are you going to do about this?
As a Christian, I believe that Jesus Christ came into the world, to act, to do, to make change. As a faithful person, how at this most Holy time of the year—how will I— embody that legacy.
What time, what money, what am I going to do to stop, to stop the next Newtown and the slow motion massacre that is happening here on our city streets in Chicago.
Love wins. Love wins.
Love wins—only if we act. Love wins when we act. Tell me –what are you going to do---Love only wins when we act. What are you going to do for:
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Rachel Davino, 29
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Dawn Hochsprung, 47
Madeline F. Hsu, 6
Catherine V. Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattiolie, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Anne Marie Murphy 52
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Lauren Fousseau, 30
Mary Sherlach, 56
Victoria Soto, 27
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison N. Wyatt, 6
Nancy Lanza—we lost them too.
What are you going to do—so that love wins?
Faith, Hope and Love—the greatest of these is Love.
Copyright Bonnie A. Perry December 2013