Fred Rogers, an ordained Presbyterian minister and children’s television host, once said: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me: ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”
When horrific tragedy unfolded in Oklahoma City in 1995, New York City in 2001, and in Charleston, Kenya, Lebanon, and Paris in 2015, we witnessed demonic evil personified through the selfish actions of terrorists influenced by pride, hate and bad religion.
The evil was real, yet unimaginable; heart-wrenching, yet heart-numbing. The evil produced deafening silence and loud cries of anguish.
However, during the same dark moments, we witnessed holiness personified through the selfless and sacrificial actions of police officers, firefighters and other first-responders influenced by pure love and authentic faith.
We also witnessed love through the prayers, thoughts and actions of God’s children: Muslim, Jewish, Taoist, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and others.
The love expressed was real yet unimaginable, heart wrenching yet heart numbing. The willingness of people to suffer with, and even sacrifice their lives for, strangers produced deafening silence yet loud cheers of praise.
And the good news is this love that is pure, holy, sacrificial, real and unimaginable, unspeakable and cheerful, suffering and shocking, always overcomes the hate. This light always overcomes the darkness. This good always overtakes the evil.
So, in the midst of every tragedy, “look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
Consequently, in the midst of every “scary thing” you will always find hope. You will always find God.