We'd planned, yesterday, to leave for Kroger after Jim's return from work, but--given the events of the day--I didn't feel up to entering the cold, the dark, or the public with our three, younger children. I know you understand, that I'm not the only one who's just wanted to hole up at home.
Jim and I went out today, though, because we'd lined up a sitter and bought movie tickets weeks ago. Baby Chip slept through our entire cinematic experience, and I have to admit: I slept through part of it, myself.
Thankfully, I didn't sleep through Galadriel's and Gandalf the Grey's exchange because--of all the words people have had to say in the last couple of days--Gandalf's were the ones I wanted. He said:
I found it is the small everyday deeds
of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay…small acts of kindness
I'm with Gandalf; how about you?
Back in the day when I taught argument and rhetoric, my students and I shared ideas regarding what we could do about the prevalence of violence in our society. We talked about gun control, mental health, violence on tv and in the movies, violence in video games, prayer in schools, etc. Most of these ideas had some--if not a great deal--of merit. But my favorite idea was, and is, in line with Gandalf's thinking: just be nice.
If we went out of our way to be nice--especially to those who feel angry, hurt, and/or rejected--who can guess how profound the impact on our society?
Let's be really nice, right now. Let's think carefully about what's coming out of our mouths and fingertips. Let's not--in our efforts to understand, prevent further tragedy, and even provide comfort!--be insensitive. There's a time to speak, scripture says, and a time to keep silence (Ecclesiastes 3:7); let's err on the side of keeping silence...or say safe things like: I love you. I'm here for you.