In October 2006, a gunman took hostages in a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania.
He shot ten children. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Then he shot himself.
Five of the children died, and people around the world were horrified.
But get this: Just hours after it happened, people in the Amish community visited the house of the gunman’s parents…
To express support and concern! They knew how hard it would be for them in the wake of the shootings.
At the gunman’s funeral, about half of those in attendance were from the Amish community! And remember, they were the victims! Again, they were in attendance to show concern, support, and to pray.
Some people in the media said it was a testament to the best within the human spirit. But to me, that kind of a comment—without taking into account the strong Christian faith of the Amish—is totally condescending.
The Amish value, with an exceptional intensity, their relationship with God and with each other. “Be devoted to one another in love” (Romans 12:10). “Honour one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10). “Carry each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). “Build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
That hurting community knew what it meant to be consistent, strong and loving in their walk with God, and they knew what it meant to be consistent, strong and loving in their walk with each other. It didn’t make all their pain go away, but it helped them rise to their best in the midst of hardship.
Are you facing difficulty? If so, walk with God and walk with God’s people. Journey together. It won’t make all your challenges go away, but it will help you rise to your best in the midst of hardship.
By Matthew Ruttan
–Today’s “Up!” is connected to Part 1 in the “Help When It Hurts” series. Why not take a listen to the 27-minute message here?
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.