By Doug Hutchcraft

On the news or social media, you can't miss it: people young and old, regardless of political affiliation or financial situation, in disbelief about an awful tragedy.

You won't find any shortage of commentary about it. I can't help but process this through my own experience - listening to people with hearts that have been broken. My desire is to try to respond with God's perspective. My dad Ron puts it powerfully: "Since 9/11 I have prayed during shocking moments in the news: 'Lord, help me see and feel what You see and feel here.'"

Our then-high school grandson kept coming up with these "hmmm" kind of gems. Like this:

"Life's different from school. In school, you have the lessons, then the test. In life, you have the test - then the lessons."

Like I said - "hmmmm."

It's a strange combination.

The week we've been told there will be so much pandemic dying that it will be "this generation's Pearl Harbor."

And then there's Easter. Definitely a unique, "no frills" Easter to be sure. But Easter. The high point of the year for Christians.

That Easter dinner folks look forward to each year - it won't be quite the same this year. Social distancing and being home sort of change things.

If you want Easter flowers for the ladies, you'll have to pick them. Much is closed. I'm not even sure the Easter Bunny's going to make it this year. Lots of travel restrictions this time. The fact is the "coronaquake" has shaken and reshaped just about every area of our lives.

I've discovered there are actually two Manhattans. One, the madness and mayhem on the street. Two, the breathtaking view from the top of a Manhattan skyscraper. One just stresses you out. The other "peaces" you out. The perspective from that observation deck is a whole other vibe!

North Dakota's a long way from Wuhan, China. But our friend Wes has been seeing more and more customers wearing masks in the local Walmart. He says he's going to start telling them "to calm down." Thinking of how fear can spook the stock market, he commented, "Then I'm going to thank them for destroying my 401(k)."

If the emergency room folks had asked me to rate my pain that day on a 1-10 scale, I would have said "22." It was the worst pain I'd ever had.

My shoulder had "exploded." My rotator cuff was totally wrecked, and that day the pain suddenly erupted.

That led to multiple replacement surgeries, from which I am fully recovered today. Although I'm still tempted to start sobbing every time I see one of those "shoulder work ahead" signs on the highway.

When the shocking news of Kobe Bryant's sudden death broke, it really hit like losing someone you knew.

I see it in the Native American young people who are so much a part of my life and my work. Like Amy. She's an overcomer - depression, abuse, trauma. For her, basketball has offered relief from reservation despair. She says, "Kobe inspired me."

A lot of our Native "sons and daughters" proudly wear their Kobe jersey. Because he "inspired" them. As one young Native leader and friend said, "It looks like we're all in a state of mourning."

There's a Nativity in every room of our house. That was my wife's #1 order for Christmas decorating. Decorations are fine. Lights are nice. Nativities are mandatory!

So we have all kinds. Big mangers. Small mangers. Native American Nativities. A cowboy creche. An Eskimo "Bethlehem." The cast is pretty predictable. Mary, Joseph and the baby are there. So are the shepherds and those Wise Men. Sometimes a cow. A donkey. A sheep.

Our granddaughter couldn't have been more than three that Christmas. Suddenly she appeared in the living room, carrying a long, empty wrapping paper tube.

"What's that for, angel?"

"I'm a shepherd," she announced emphatically. Silly me. Of course she was a shepherd. I should have known from the "shepherd's staff" in her hand.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)

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