The scenes of tragedy are still fresh in our minds as we pass from the recent massacre of innocents in Jonesboro to the remembrance of the innocent One massacred for us at this time of year long ago. I will compare these in this week’s lesson but for now, I want to share a marvelous article by Chuck Monan who so eloquently brings these two together in a recent article for the Wilshire Bulletin.
As the twisted young assassins took aim at their random victims, the scene was one of panic and sheer terror for those under fire. As many as 27 shots rang out and young students fell bleeding and crying for help. As one of the gunmen set his sights on young Emma Pittman, something heroic happened: a thirty-two year old English teacher named Shannon Wright stepped in front of the bullet intended for the sixth-grader. Emma Pittman was saved by the sacrificial action of Shannon Wright, who paid with her own life to ransom another.
The atheist has no explanation for such courage. If there is no God, and no ultimate purpose for our existence, then what Shannon Wright did makes no sense. If survival of the fittest is the driving force beyond all life, then why would anyone take a bullet for someone else?
Wright’s actions make sense however, when we understand that we are eternal beings created in God’s own image. Our Lord said, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13). Shannon Wright understood this, and will always be remembered for her love for the children she protected with her very life. Emma Pittman and her family understand this better than most of us ever will.
In the midst of the most sinister evil, love is able to carry the day. And we are reminded that no matter what heartache we must face, there is hope for a brighter tomorrow because of the One who gave His life for us.
- Chuck Monan