Yesterday, a gunman walked into an Atlanta-area elementary school, intent on wreaking the kind of havoc that devastated the city of Newtown, Connecticut last December. But instead of tragedy, something amazing happened. A school clerk named Antoinette Tuff reached out to the young man with love, and convinced him to lay down his weapons. He surrendered, and no one was hurt.
There’s a lot that’s remarkable about this story. Tuff’s grace and courage under fire. The way love can reach and soften even a heart that seems hopelessly hardened. And the fact that almost no one is talking about this very real and powerful triumph of good.
When tragedy strikes, the news cycle turns into a barrage of coverage. We’re forced to relive the details of devastation over and over–ad infinitum. There are endless parades of the faces of the dead. And commentators and opinionators become the voice of the public–searching for meaning where there’s usually none to be found.
That’s why my obsessions this week are simple, but serious. I’m obsessed with getting Tuff’s story out there. Watch her tell it in her own words. Share her story with your friends. And think about this: How would the world be different if we greeted every situation–from the mildly annoying, to the utterly terrifying–with the kind of heart full of love that Tuff did?
This week’s most important news story proves that fearless, life-changing love is possible. That it’s more powerful than a gun, than a mind obsessed with evil, even than evil itself. That this love is the demand on all of us–and that living such love could have effects far beyond what we can imagine.
In lieu of my weekly obsessions list this Wednesday, I leave you with this challenge: Find transcendent love within yourself, and then go out and share it. I promise I’ll be joining you.