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From Columbine to Aurora With Love

Comfort God's Love Tragedy

Source: “Vigil for Colo. victims draws Columbine survivor” By KRISTEN WYATT, Associated Press, 7/23/12

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-07-23

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:4

Author: Illustration Exchange
6

ILLUSTRATION

Friday, July 20, 2012, America woke to the horrific news that a crazed gunmen had opened fire in a crowded Colorado theater, killing 12 and wounding nearly 60 others. In the wake of the tragedy, AP reports that many who genuinely and uniquely understand the trauma are reaching out to comfort the bereaved.

AURORA, Colo. (AP) — Anne Marie Hochhalter, wearing a silver cross around her neck, sat in the front row of a vigil for the victims of the Colorado theater massacre. Her connections to those wounded in the attack early Friday at an Aurora movie theater was closer than most. Paralyzed in the 1999 Columbine massacre, the 30-year-old Hochhalter said she can offer a little hope to the victims' loved ones and the survivors.

"I would tell them that with time, it does get better. But it never goes away," she said. …

Other Columbine students who survived what in 1999 was the worst school massacre in U.S. history are reliving their own experiences. And they're banding together to try to help. On Facebook and by phone, they are reaching out to people who witnessed the attack.

APPLICATION

Hochhalter and others who survived similar attacks are playing a key role in the healing process for the Aurora shooting survivors … they are reaching out, not just in sympathy, but in genuine empathy. When they say, “I feel your pain; I understand your loss” the victims of the Colorado tragedy know that they really do. Such comfort carries even greater weight.

Let’s purpose as believers to never waste our sorrows. Rather, we must allow God to use our tribulations to weave into us a greater capacity for compassion. Then we will be equipped to comfort, console, and “offer a little hope” to those who are hurting by administering to them the healing balm of God's love.

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us” (2 Corinthians 1:4, NLT).

Illustration Exchange

Spiritual Quadriplegics

Purpose Meaning of Life Tragedy

Source: JONI, p. 94, 189-90

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-07-10

Author: Joni Eareckson Tada
4

ILLUSTRATION

“I was angry that my life had been reduced to the basics of eating, breathing, and sleeping—day in and day out. But what I discovered was that the rest of the human race was in the same boat. Their lives revolved around the same meaningless cycle—except with them, it wasn’t as obvious. Peripheral things distracted them from the fact that they were caught on the same treadmill. Their jobs, school, families, and recreation occupied them enough so they never consciously recognized that their lives were the same as mine—eating, breathing, sleeping.”

Joni Eareckson Tada is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Joni and Friends, is an international advocate for people with disabilities, and is a best-selling author, speaker and artist. A diving accident in 1967 left Joni, then 17, a quadriplegic.

APPLICATION

A quadriplegic since age 17 (a victim of a diving accident), Joni came to discover true meaning and purpose in life, not despite her circumstances, but through them. Eight years after that seemingly tragic event, Joni readied herself to mount a stage at a Youth for Christ rally to speak to an audience of young, impressionable teenagers—most of whom, no doubt, had yet to discover meaning in life. 

“I hear the voice of YFC director Al Metsker introducing me. Suddenly, the purpose of my being here is brought sharply into focus. In the next 30 minutes I will speak to 2,000 kids, telling them how God transformed an immature and head-strong teenager into a self-reliant young woman who is learning to rejoice in suffering. I will have a unique opportunity. What I share with them may determine where they spend eternity. … I will be pleased if only one person is drawn to Christ. Even one person would make the wheelchair worth all the past eight years have cost.”

Without Christ, we are all spiritual quadriplegics living robotic lives of meaningless existence. With him, even our wheelchairs become a pathway to meaning and purpose!

Illustration Exchange

The Blame Game

Blame Tragedy Peace

Source: Fox News, Science and Technology, "Italian Seismologists Charged With Manslaughter for Not Predicting 2009 Quake," 5/27/11

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-06-09

Scripture: Matthew 12:10

Author: Illustration Exchange
2

ILLUSTRATION

In a bizarre attempt to find closure to a terrible tragedy, Italian government officials this week (5/27/11) brought formal manslaughter charges against Enzo Boschi, the president of Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, and six other scientists for their failure to predict a deadly 2009 earthquake which claimed the lives of 308 people.  All of this despite common scientific consensus that it is nearly impossible to predict earthquakes, either in timing or in magnitude. The USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) responded to the charges saying, "Neither the USGS nor Caltech nor any other scientists have ever predicted a major earthquake.  They do not know how, and they do not expect to know how any time in the foreseeable future." 

“Whoever made these allegations misunderstands the nature of science,” said Alan Leshner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). "It reflects a lack of understanding of what science can and cannot do.”  The AAAS wrote a letter rebutting the charges last year when the investigation was first opened, but their protests were not headed.

APPLICATION

With tragedy we first ask the “why” questions.  Sometimes we find our answers, but often we don’t.  Next we ask the “who” questions.  Who's at fault? As unreasonable as it may seem, we feel better about a bad situation if there's someone we can hold responsible.

This was certainly the case with the Pharisees. Threatened by Jesus popularity and teaching, they looked for opportunities to play the blame game. They were so committed to finding fault that when they could find no other basis for accusation, they accused him of doing good, but on the wrong day!

"And a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?" (Matthew 12:10).

Giving Quotes Part 2

Giving Quotes Part 2

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-09-19

Author: Various
2

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Forgiveness Quotes Part 2

Forgiveness Quotes Part 2

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-06-16

Author: Various
4

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Temptation Quotes

Temptation Quotes

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-18

Author: Various
4

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Good Friday Quotes

Good Friday Quotes

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-18

Scripture: Various

Author: Various
2

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Forgiveness Quotes

Forgiveness Quotes

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-18

Scripture: Various

Author: Various
3

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What's The Point?

Church Health/Growth

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 0000-00-00

Scripture: Ephesians 1:

Author: Neal Pollard
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