Meridian Star

December 22, 2012

From the Shepherd’s heart

By Dr. John A. Temple / Guest columnist
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     This week, I have been to funerals in and around Newtown, Conn. My role has been as chaplain to “first responders.”

    All grief is painful, but the pain of a mass shooting of children is impossible for me to comprehend. With tears in her eyes, one funeral director said, “It is not right to have eleven six year olds in here at one time.”

    The law enforcement community feels guilty because they could not stop the carnage. The educators feel afraid that this event is repeatable. Volunteers and EMT find going back to work impossible at this time.

    To ask, “Why?” is to find no answer. To ask, “What can I do?” is the better quest. Some things don’t make sense; however, we can decide to make a difference in times of chaos. Control something yourself!

    • Control your focus. Intentionally decide to find something positive and beautiful to celebrate.

    • Control your fears. Trust in God and seek His face.

    • Control your emotions. Decide to love, instead of hate. Practice forgiveness, speak more softly and hug more.

    • Control your reactions. Comfort and encourage someone. Smile and be friendly. Make someone’s day by thanking them for their service.

    Even at this moment, an encourager has emailed a scripture to me that applies:

    “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.” — Isaiah 26:3

    It may seem dark, but any light will overcome it. Let your light shine!

    Dr. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, located at 4032 Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian. Visit the church website online at www.