Reader voices: There's hope amidst human suffering

By Chastity Harris

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, June 2 2013 5:05 a.m. MDT

A huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb Monday, flattening an entire neighborhoods and destroying an elementary school with a direct blow as children and teachers huddled against winds.

Sam Penrod

In the last five months, the people of this nation have seen tests and torments. Terrorists have brought fear and destruction. A troubled youth caused heartbreak to a small-town school. A natural disaster has rocked the heartland.

What is something that shines in these dark times? The human spirit. The decency and kindness that stops people in their tracks in the face of a tragedy, if for nothing else but to hurt with those that are hurting.

That spirit is what drives volunteers and emergency workers to ease suffering and work through the night to do all they can. It’s what encourages children to send drawings to the wounded and adults to send checks. Because there is an outpouring of helping hands, I have hope for the human condition.

As long as we care more about easing the suffering of others than our own petty inconveniences, there is hope for this world as a whole.

If you are a thousand miles from a disaster and have no funds or supplies to donate, why not keep victims in your prayers? If you are a non-believer, then you could keep them in your thoughts, if you prefer. What harm is there in thinking kind, sympathetic thoughts?

Is that not offering a kindness?

There has been some criticism, following the tornadoes in Oklahoma, scorning the offering of prayers as a way to support the victims. Some of the discussion has turned quite nasty.

Instead of real help, we cling to our antiquated religion, praying for the effects of God’s work to be undone.

I cling to the principle that most people are good and decent and that the human spirit will reach out to one another in times of need and lift each other up. I cling to the fact that most people will feel and empathize and send out hopeful thoughts for those in Oklahoma, Boston and Newtown, Conn.

I pray they will wish for comfort and relief for the victims and the safety of all involved. I do it in prayer to my God. You do it anyway you see fit.

I don’t apologize for my belief in God, and you shouldn’t apologize for your beliefs, but this is not the conversation we should be having right now. Find a positive way to help, any way to help.

Chastity Harris' first novel "Devils Among Us" is available on Amazon.com for the Kindle. Her email is chastityh16@gmail.com and her website is at www.chastityharris.com.

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