“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
Nelson Mandela (1918-2013
With six married kids and a boatload of grands, my Mama was a true prayer warrior. She would call fear and worry “concern” or “guarded optimism”.
In light of our recent local and sad news here in Cobb County, I want us to consider worry and fear today. For those who have not heard, a Georgia couple in their late sixties, Bud and June Runion, took a short road trip south this past Thursday, excited about plans to buy a ’66 red convertible Mustang like the one Bud had upon his return from Vietnam. The Runions are grandparents and loving parents to three grown daughters. Mr. Runion had made contact with a guy through Craig’s List who promised to meet them, let them take a look at the car and potentially sell them the Mustang. After The Runions went missing for a few days, tragically, they were both found shot in the head. This guy has been picked up as a suspect for their deaths.
These folks are the face of our parents and grandparents.
How does our community, our state, our world, move forward after such an event? We can consider following the example laid out by one of the Runion daughters, Virginia, in a television interview just before the bodies of her parents were discovered:
“We are a Christian family. If someone has taken them we have forgiven that person — love and forgive. It will certainly take time, it will be a long process, but we will forgive them. Only through God can we do this.” said Virginia Owen.
The gift of forgiveness may seem an unlikely and unpopular response for many of us, but consider what “not forgiving” does. Not forgiving a person who has wronged you or your loved one ends up causing you harm. The bitterness, anger, and hatred grow inside your heart, eroding your very soul. I admire Virginia Owen and her sisters’ courageous responses to this devastation involving their beloved parents and the grandparents of their precious children. We don’t get to choose what happens to us, but we do get to choose our response to our circumstances
Can we move forward in fear of others in our community?
One for each day of the year.
While I am certain, especially as a Vietnam Vet, that Bud Runion did all he could to protect his wife and himself, I believe we all can be more proactive and wise regarding our daily choices. However, to live in fear gives our power over to the evil ones.
Let’s move forward starting today! Continue to talk to your children and young adults about self-safety. Use the buddy system whenever possible. Text or call your loved ones as you travel from Point A to Point B. These text messages can leave a trail to follow if needed. Last night’s news suggested that the parties meet at a Police Station if we must meet someone we do not know to exchange monies for merchandise. If they don’t want to meet us there, then let’s just stay home.
We must take charge of our own safety.
Click here for more ideas on how we can do just that.
There IS good in this world!
“Don’t be afraid, because I’m with you; don’t be anxious, because I am your God.