I was listening today on the freeway to a radio broadcast of the religious service for the community that has just tragically lost 27 of its children and teachers. I couldn’t stop the tears flowing from my eyes. Inconsolable people uttering up incoherent prayers of grief for the mothers, friends, and, most wrenching of all, their little children.
The Jewish lamentations were haunting and the Christian prayers sobering. I knew for certain though that these things were what people wanted to hear at this awfully sad time.
These are the times the normalities and certainties of everyday life are stripped away. Ephemera can’t survive the blast of unbearable grief and the gnawing pain of incomprehension brought by the violent death of so many children.
I wondered to myself at the quaintness of hearing all of this on our national broadcasting channel, which is normally noted for its championing of the secular and its downplaying of things religious.
I also wondered why people such as atheist warrior Richard Dawkins had not been called upon to address the crowd of mourners. Could it be that when the bottom falls out of their world, people lose interest in human sophistry and are instinctively drawn to the things that are fundamentally important? Could it be that our secular society has nothing to say to us when the bottom falls out of our world?
Toys, holidays, money and status are not big enough to hide behind when real tragedy comes calling.
Could it be that it takes times like these for our ears and eyes to be opened to what really is important?
God bless all whose world seems as if it has come to an end. God grant them comfort and, in time, a new beginning and new life.

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