Our community and school have been forced to face some very tragic situations recently. The Bible refers to death as an enemy. We have been taught that enemies are bad and want to hurt us.

Our community and school have been forced to face some very tragic situations recently. The Bible refers to death as an enemy. We have been taught that enemies are bad and want to hurt us.
To some degree, each of us have felt the extreme sadness and hurt that accompany losing someone long before that individual should have died. Our school is no stranger to the tragic loss of students. This is such a painful reality that we cannot escape. My wife and I lost a 20- year-old son and we are aware of the void that remains when a child dies.
Much has already been said related to the incidents of the past couple weeks and I am aware that I am just one voice among the many who have spoken. My prayers and the prayers of so many people reach Heaven on behalf of the families who have lost loved ones. We do not know how you feel so we pray. I become extremely annoyed when someone tries to convince me that they know how I feel when I am broken. I will respect your need to grieve in the way that helps your heart the most.
In times like these, a very human response is to ask “Why?” My dear friend, most of the questions that begin with “why” seldom produce an answer that helps us. Many times, an answer simply isn’t to be found. So, what should we do? When I find myself in very difficult situations which can’t be changed, I try to change the way I ask my questions. Instead of beginning with “why”, I begin my inquiry with “what.”
Questions like, “What can I learn about me through this?”, “What can I learn about my friends?”, “What can I learn about my faith?”, or “What can I learn about God?” may allow a searching, struggling broken heart find a bit of hope. God bless you in your journey – this is life and He is faithful!!

Doug Gripka is the pastor of the Newtonia Baptist Church and writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.