This sermon was written by Rev. RyuJin and we thank him for this.
All too often in recent years there have been tragedies in which the lives of innocents are cut short. Many times the perpetrators of these terrible events are unfortunate souls that have been lost in the dark. In the end we are left mourning the loss of loved ones, angry at the inability to protect them, confused as to why these things happened, and searching for meaning.
Grieve for the loss, but remember they are not truly gone for they have returned to the warmth and comfort of the all embracing force and are therefore with us always.
Do not be angry, for anger does not lead to answers, nor does it ease the pain.
Do not be confused, instead seek the knowledge and gain the understanding needed to prevent such tragedies from occurring again.
If you must have meaning consider this;
There are many who are born into the dark, or cast into the dark, or have wandered into the dark where pain and suffering are all that they know. For them every day is filled with fear, fear of being alone, fear of pain, fear of suffering, fear of being weak, and fear of not having control over the course of their life.
These sad souls are not always easy to spot, for many learn to hide their suffering behind a mask of serenity. Unfortunately the mask does not last forever, eventually it breaks and unleashes the darkness that has been hiding and growing. Usually by this time it is too late to prevent tragedy.
So how do we prevent such things? We must learn to identify the warning signs of suffering. We must be ever vigilant of the hidden darkness if we are to alleviate pain and suffering thus preventing tragedy. We must treat everyone with the respect and dignity they deserve. If you know of someone that is suffering, whether it's bullying, abuse, or loss, extend a hand of friendship to them. Talk to them, and listen, don't just hear them, but listen to them. A lending hand and a friendly ear can cast a bright light in a dark room.
Many that are lost in the darkness are looking for the light, be that light. Guide them from the dark.
It's no secret that I've been in that same darkness and felt that same pain. I know all too well how wonderful it feels to have someone, anyone recognize your existence enough to reach out a hand and lend an ear. These were the moments I held onto that provided the faintest glimmer of light and during the moment when I felt my worst, the force broke through the darkness and enabled me to find my way out. Not everyone has the strength to escape on their own; their eyes become closed preventing them from seeing the flicker of light, robbing them of the strength needed to escape their torment, which is why it's up to everyone to share their strength. We are all connected through the force; when one suffers, we all suffer, even if we do not know it.
Reach out a hand, lend an ear, be that light in the dark for someone.