Peace? On earth?

When tragedy strikes nearby it always seems more real. I have feelings of sadness when bad things occur anywhere but when it happens 30 minutes from my home, it’s a lot more real.

Earlier this week, in a nearby town a man killed his ex-wife, her mother, her grandmother, her sister, her sister’s husband and one of her sister’s children. The other child is in the hospital recovering from horrific cut wounds.

At the end of the rampage he killed himself. All we know is that he was in a custody dispute with his ex-wife. Now there are two elementary school children with no parents and all of the mother’s family was wiped out.

I don’t live in a war zone or a third world country. This happened in a family oriented community.

Trying to make sense of this is exasperating. Some say he was suffering from PTSD although the authorities have not yet found a medical diagnosis. He was stationed in Iraq for a few months when he was in the service and was a decorated veteran. People thought he was a nice man.

He had remarried and had another baby. He leaves a widow with a young infant.

It wasn’t spontaneous because the killings took place in the early morning hours at three different locations.

He dumped his children off with a neighbor after he killed their mother. He had a plan. He didn’t flip out in a moment of passion because someone said something.

There are two young children who have lost it all the week before Christmas. They saw their mother die at the hands of their father. She was shot in the face several times. You can imagine what that looks like.

Their family is gone. Can they recover from that? How will it affect them in the future? Their cousin will be physically and mentally scarred. 

Today’s news gave details of a slaughter in Pakistan that took place in a school. Children and their teachers were killed. Mostly children.

Children used to be off-limits. Even for mob hits, the children were not targeted. Is there no honor? No code? Or are they easy targets? 

Maybe our emotions are closer to the surface during the holiday season but it sure seems like these things happen more frequently.

It took the wind out of my sails and puts more emphasis on the saying “Peace on earth.”



39 thoughts on “Peace? On earth?

  1. Tragic … all the way around. Whether it’s a domestic dispute or the death of innocents by terrorists, it’s just incomprehensible. I believe the latter selected children because they want the headlines and the attention the stories will bring. Just sick!

    John Lennon’s song of “Give Peace a Chance” seems very remote at times like these.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I live in NSW Australia Kate and this week we’ve been shocked at the siege in the heart of Sydney’s CBD. When I go to Sydney I often have a coffee or hot chocolate in that Lindt cafe. Then a few days late came the news of the Pakistan atrocity. I just cannot comprehend how people can hate others so much that they can do these terrible things. I guess because off the difference being a Christian has made in my life and experiencing the love of God it makes it harder to comprehend this need to hurt others.


  3. What a sad story Kate…made me think of Newtown when all those kids died. I can never wrap my brain around an event like this, and I live in New York where on any given day you pick up The Post, and there’s some horrific story you can’t quite believe.

    I’m so sorry it made you upset.


  4. Peace on earth would be nice, wouldn’t it. So would gun control. How likely are either? Sorry, but these sorts of terrible crimes keep happening and still we do nothing. How foolish are we?


  5. When it comes to children, it is heart breaking especially when there is no rhyme nor reason as to what precipitated the whole thing. One cannot say what would happen to the survivors or the people that are affected by it especially that it’s right at your doorstep. But I am a firm believer with the help of others people recover from tragedy. I did post about this about the story of naked Napalm girl during the Vietnam war that made history. She recovered and became a voice for peace and forgiveness.

    Take care, Kate. xox Perpetua.


  6. “… Is there no honor? No code?” I fear this is the reason.
    That and what is acceptable in one society is not acceptable in another…Hard to send everyone to their corners until they can play nice together in a world with great distances between groups of people.
    People as a whole don’t seem willing to agree to disagree and still be civil.
    We’ve got to figure something out. Then maybe a peaceful minute or two?


      • And too much desiring of “stuff”. And too much “My way or the highway.”
        Just too much illogical human thought – gender doesn’t seem to matter…have you seen the high school/college girl fights in parking lots and places…where was that learned and who’s encouraging it? (maybe you’re right after all?)


        • I don’t know but I appreciate the protective bubble I was raised in. There wasn’t so much violence and there wasn’t any in school unless you count one of the guys punching another one on the nose. No one died. The nose wasn’t even broken.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. When I heard about that tragedy, I thought of you Kate and wondered how close it was to you. What bothers me the most are these nuts who obviously want to die, but first they have to take a bunch of innocent lives along with them.
    I had to stop beginning my day with the local news. It sets my mind in the wrong direction to go out into the world. I’ll catch the weather and traffic and that’s it. I like to stay informed, but when all of the news is mass killings, rape, robbery, etc…it’s too much. I see that in my job each day so I’d like to have a different mindset while at home.


  8. How can we understand these horrible murders? Why? Why? When something like this happens on the other side of the country, we can say that, oh, well, he is only one out of more than 300 million Americans. But when it happens close to home the math seems different. The year I graduated from high school, the father of my classmate and good friend shot and killed his wife and daughter, my classmate’s only sibling. I never saw my classmate again. She moved to another state and cut off relations with her former classmates. A few years ago I finally found her online, but she had passed away. The two children who survived yesterday’s massacre will have a hard time recovering–if they ever do. God bless them!


  9. It is so horrific listening to the news. I understand what you mean about it feeling even worse when it is close to home. I’ve noticed that now, because I correspond through blogs or email with several people from varying parts of the earth, that often I can’t help thinking of them personally and wonder how they are responding or dealing with such tragedies in their own neighborhoods.

    Something else I noticed when I was visiting with my sister last year was how her nightly news tended to be about civic events or what new business opened or who turned 100 years old today. In my city, every nightly news cast begins with who was murdered, or shot, or stabbed, or how many cases of arson were reported today, or how many fatal accidents happened on the highways. Living in a big city definitely changes the content of your local newscast. My sister and her husband have always chosen to live in small towns or subsidiaries of larger cities, and even though I know that no place is immune from tragedy, I’ve certainly wished, at times, that just once I could turn on the news and not hear about death and tragedy.

    There are some days that I simply can’t handle one more tragic story, and I have to completely avoid listening to the news. Of course, all that means is that I’m not exposing myself to the news, because even when my television is turned off, the deaths and tragedies continue. It is painful to know that people are capable of great kindness, and yet, there is still so much evil in the world. It does seem as if some invisible line has been crossed, and it is horrifically becoming more and more commonplace to hear about crimes against children. Very sad. Yes, very sad.

    The holidays don’t feel like the holidays without some semblance of peace on earth. We all seem to yearn for those days when people could come together to celebrate peacefully. More and more, you hear everyone praying for peace. How does the song go? “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”


    • Great comment! When I listen to the bad news day after day I get immune to the real tragedy. I get jaded. Then something happens to bring it all home and remind me that no matter where we live we are all humans. There was another horrific murder near us about a month ago. These used to happen every 5 years or so. Now it’s so much more common. Sometimes I wonder if listening to the news has made killing less horrific to the folks living on the edge.


  10. How horrible and particularly tragic being so close to Christmas. The significance of Christmas will be forever changed now for his surviving children in a way no child should ever have to suffer. What a selfish, selfish creature. Pre-meditated murder in such a heinous method I shall NEVER understand. Peace on earth – what a lovely dream!


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