At the risk of being redundant, I've got to say that there hasn't been much good news lately. Bombs are falling in Iraq, people are starving in Darfur, and Lake Tahoe is burning up. According to the 6:00 news it seems the world is on brink of the proverbial Inferno. I'm not sure that there is a way to stop the fall.
But the story that I have become fixated on, weird and depressing as it is, is the story about the missing pregnant lady in Ohio. And if I, a complete stranger who lives hundreds of miles away, can't stop thinking about it, what must be happening in the town where she lived.
Call me an optimist. Call me naive. Call me stupid. But even in the face of history repeating itself on an all too common basis, I really didn't want to believe that the boyfriend/father had anything to do with her disappearance. In fact, I would rather have believed that a tornado picked up the lady, and a group of singing munchkins and flying monkeys deposited her lifeless body in the woods. A demented version of the Oz story without a happy no-place-like-home-ending, but better, somehow, than the true story.
Why seems to be the only question that I can ask. Yet even knowing the answer won't provide any consolation will it? For in a case like this, I don't believe there really can be an acceptable answer to why. There is no way to fathom what goes through a person's mind before he unburdens his/her own demons on innocent bystanders.
My heart aches for the little boy who witnessed his mother's death and was then left alone in the house of horrors. Is it possible that a two year old child is still so me-oriented that once his mother was out of sight, she was out of mind. Would that be a blessed relief?
My heart aches for the people who unselfishly spent ten days of their lives combing mile after mile of underbrush without giving up hope that they would find this particular haystack's needle alive and well.
My heart aches for the woman's family who have to live with the knowledge that someone they knew and loved is gone forever; that they would never get to hold her unborn child.
In my dismay and disbelief, I want to hate the man responsible. Then I remember the Amish village who turned their personal tragedy into a nation's lesson in forgiveness. I want my hurting heart to be able to find at least a degree of that kind of forgiveness. I'm not sure it can.
But, I believe that the only way to turn bad news into good is to be the change we want to see in the world. I believe that light, no matter how small the flicker, can penetrate the darkness. I believe it is in the light that we see the face of God. And I believe it is in God, the god of your understanding and mine, where we'll find peace.
"The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us." Black Elk
(No-so) Merry ME