The Life of Bon: Peace

Monday, December 17, 2012


I think we can all agree that it is difficult to make sense of the shooting on Friday.  I have struggled to find answers.  Human tendency is to seek for something or someone to blame.  Immediately.  There must be fault.  The school security wasn't good enough.  The killer didn't get mental help when he needed it.  There's too much violence in video games.  Gun laws need to be stricter.  We need a solution NOW.

I guess I feel like this is probably part of the grieving process- a desperate attempt to find fault and then to try to immediately work out solutions.  I don't know what the solutions are, but I know they will take time.  Healing is a slow process and the only real healer of tragedy is time.  Lots and lots of time.

And so, I am trying my best to not think of the countless things that must have gone wrong in order to lead up to such a horrific event.  Trying hard to not blame here and not blame there, but instead to just find some sort of peace in the wake of the tragedy.  I am praying for the families of the victims.  Praying that they will feel the love of the entire nation, that they will feel our tears and our hugs and our support, that they will feel peace and eventually acceptance and someday, maybe someday, even forgiveness.

I have heard several remarks that the tragedy is worsened by the fact that it happened around Christmas.  I agree with this and I disagree with this.  Certainly the pang of loss will be felt more sharply on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Of course.  But hopefully those missing their loved ones so desperately will be comforted during this special time, even moreso than they would be able to during another time of the year.  I pray that they will be able to feel that special spirit of Christmas, and that it can be used as an extra dosage of comfort.  I pray that they can feel God's love an extra amount and understand more fully the miracle that Christ's birth was and is.  I pray that they will feel extra love, extra peace, extra closeness to a loving Heavenly Father.

I went to church yesterday not thinking about pants at all, like I had originally thought I would, but instead hoping to make some sense of the tragedy.  The answer to my prayers came in the form of my sister, who is visiting from California for the week.  She shared with the class that she had found comfort in the third and fourth verse of "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day."  They are so beautiful and so fitting.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

To end the meeting, we sang one of my favorite hymns, "Be Still My Soul."  Again, I found the lyrics to be so fitting.

(Third and Fourth Verse)
Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.

I don't know what the answers are, but I do know that the Lord is over all.  I know they He will "repay" that which He has "taken away."  I believe in justice and I believe in mercy.  I believe in hope and love and charity and kindness- even in the midst of such tragedy.  I believe in a day when tears are past.

Somehow in the midst of this terrible event, I have felt incredible peace.  My wish is that all you may feel the same.

P.S.  I will be participating in this tomorrow- a blogger day of silence.


  1. Beautifully said, Bon. I'm going to have to give those songs another listen...

  2. Anonymous10:08 PM

    I loved this, and completely agree with all of your opinions.

    I myself have not written about this topic, because writing about it makes it all the more painful.

    Such a terrible tragedy and I too hope these families can find peace and be lifted up by the spirit of Christmas, and realize the true reason for the season.

  3. We sang Christmas Bells on Sunday too, and it was totally the answer I was looking for. It's one of my favorite poems.

  4. thanks for sharing Bonnie. I’ve been thinking about just how much injustice and sorrow is going on ALL the time, every day, all over the world. When it hits closer to home it seems to wake us up a bit and remind us of how much we need the Lord and to believe in eternal hope in Him. If that’s what He is awakening in our hearts through this awful tragedy, He is already using it for good.

  5. I love how you write from the heart, and this is spot on for me as well. We can't lose hope in times like this, and we can't forget there are so many good people still out there.

  6. thank you for this bonnie. :)

  7. we sang 'i heard the bells...' in church on sunday too. it was kind of perfect for all things going on right now.

  8. Amen. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day has been ringing through my head all weekend. We sang it in sacrament as well. Didn't think about Be Still My Soul, though. That is perfect as well.