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Can A Murder Be A Bright Spot?

blog by Bob Kuebler  • 

Can A Murder Be A Bright Spot?

I know in my heart that “all things can work together for good.”{1} I know in my heart that the murder of a good Dad can become a Bright Spot. I know in my heart that “the tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” I am not at this moment a “ready writer.”{2} If I were a ready writer, the words would flow from my soul into the heart of a ready reader. I don’t believe anybody is ready for murder.

I sit here struggling for words. Although I struggle for words, the tears seem to flow without effort. I cannot get used to being around senseless killings. The killings are senseless yet seem to inflict pain on all of my senses. Each murder seems to be like a saltshaker pouring out on a raw wound in my heart. I do realize that my heart is a muscle and it can grow through the breaking process. The physiological process of building muscle includes breaking down the muscle, rest and nourishment. Well, a murder breaks your heart, that’s for sure. Rest comes in the form of nourishment through Love. That is my starting point in my attempt to find a Bright Spot in a murder. Bright Spots can grow in dark places.

These were my opening comments in several Buffalo Schools during our Relationship Mentoring classes last week: “Last weekend, Memorial Day Weekend 2011, was one of the worst weekends of my life. I am a lot older than you guys and that means I’ve lived through many weekends in my life.” I proceeded to tell my young audiences about the murder of a man who was an innocent victim. He was a good father, a good husband, a good friend, a good neighbor and a good employee. He was the Dad of a girl who is a leader at Youth With A Purpose. She works in our kitchen and always spoken with love about her Dad. Just one week ago, this young lady and two friends saved a life. A young woman came into our Youth Center at Holy Cross very distraught. She said that she had overdosed on drugs and wanted to die. We talked for a short time until she heard a siren and then ran out into a driving downpour. The three girls ran after her and stopped her just before she was going to run in front of a car on Niagara Street. They brought her back to the Youth Center and we eventually got her to the hospital. The murdered man’s daughter was part of a group that saved a life. In the battle of good versus evil, leadership is always attacked by evil. There is a spiritual imbalance in Buffalo, New York right now. The “good” need to get busy.

When I asked this young leader to be a mentor for a Leadership Camp with a Buffalo School, she said I had to meet with her Dad. I met with her Dad and he had many questions regarding our program and his daughter. He wanted to know the exact details of where, when, who, why and how about everything. That is the mark of a good Dad; he cared and put his love into action. That’s how I remember him. There is one thing I forgot to mention; he was also a good Grandfather, he was shot fixing his Granddaughters little pink bike. He was murdered in the midst of showing love. That part of his murder is a Bright Spot, he died showing love through servant hood. I will continue speaking his legacy to keep him alive through my words.

After 5 classes in Buffalo School #6 and speaking to over 100 students, the impact of this story was immediate. Students asked about forgiveness and that became our lesson. Forgiveness can be an excruciating process but the fruit is life changing and life saving. Nobody is born a murderer. Nobody jumps out of the womb and says: “I want to kill somebody.” Murder is the by product manufactured by a life of pain that has created so much scar tissue over the heart that the light of love no longer penetrates. Unforgiveness can harden your heart. Picture the hardened heart as a “brick heart.” The “unbricking” of a hardened heart is a slow, often painful process. One process of making a brick would be heating clay and then dusting the clay with sand. To reverse that process would be removing the sand - one grain of sand at a time. The road to forgiveness travels down paths of patience and perseverance, one grain of sand at a time.

The students at another school listened with a compassionate understanding that birthed deep questions, we explored forgiveness as well as manipulative behavior, gang activity and innocent people who are murdered. One student stayed after the class was over. This student was a relative of another man who was murdered. The student was sad about the relative who died but really wanted to talk about a dead Dad. He’s actually still alive but he might as well be dead. He never keeps his word and now this young person wants to cut him out of her life as if he is dead. One girl’s Dad was murdered and the other girl’s Dad has killed his relationship with his daughter. Forgiveness can be hard to fathom, dead or alive.

If any one of these several hundred students were able to change lives or save lives, they would create a Bright Spot. One act of forgiveness is a seed that can grow into life giving tree that lasts forever. The story of someone who died innocently after showing love through servant hood can create new life in others. It’s been done before: they called him Jesus. Yes, we can find Bright Spots in senseless murders; it is up to us to speak words of new life.

Go do something nice for somebody.
Bob Kuebler

{1} Bible; Romans 8:28
{2}Bible; Psalm 45:6

TAGGED: jesus, love, ny, schools, servant

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