Stewart Acuff

Dec 17

To Hold a Light in Places of Darkness

Last night President Obama expressed the grief and condolences of our nation to the community of Newtown, CT and the parents and loved ones of 20 innocent children and six teachers and school personnel.

For those of us who are parents we know there is no love like the love we have for our children and no pain we could ever imagine as great as having to bury them.

There is no explanation for this awful, horrible shooting. It was an incomprehensible act of evil. Evil is never rational and never fully understandable.

The shootings are made even more abominable by the mental picture of a man aiming an assault rifle at kindergartners and squeezing off round after round.

With barely masked anger, the President said this is the fourth time in his Presidency that the nation has grieved for its own senselessly slain people and prayed for God’s grace and mercy for the victims and their loved ones.

As senseless and incomprehensible as this evil is, there is no excuse for inaction.

Ours is too great a nation to throw up our hands as if there is nothing we can do.

Looking at the lines of wear on The President’s face last night, some of us people of faith remembered the words of another great president in a time of national crisis: “On some nights I went to my knees because I had no other place to go.”
Said by Abraham Lincoln.

As people of justice, freedom and love in this season of hope and love, we grieve for our people and victims of evil everywhere, but we recommit ourselves to the great struggle that is the story of our species: “To overcome evil with good” as Paul said to the Roman Christians, “To render justice every morning and deliver those who are oppressed from the power of their oppressor.”

Despite the pain, we must all hold a light in places of darkness and love without ceasing.


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Stewart Acuff is the former organizing Director of the AFL-CIO. Acuff has also written two books: Playing Bigger Than You Are: A Life in Organizing, and Getting America Back to Work.

Playing Bigger Than You Are - A Life in OrganizingGet the e-book edition of Playing Bigger Than You Are by clicking here!

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