A contemporary of the Sandy Elementary shooter shares his heart and mind… A 23 year old young man shares his reaction to the school tragedy: "In light of the shootings at Sandy Elementary, I feel I needed to write this." Loren John Presley
I’m posting this at the request of my 23 year old friend Loren. I’ve known him since he was a very shy 14 year old struggling with a form of autism known as Asperger’s Syndrome. Loren is also extraordinarily bright and has a deep faith in God. He wrote a book, “The Anastasia Project” at age 17 that tells a beautiful story through the eyes of a lost dolphin of how he embraced his “disability.” Check his website for the beautiful details: http://www.lorenjohnpresley.com/ He asked me to help spread his reaction to the tragic events at Sandy Elementary School today – had this written within 3 hours of the event. Loren, through his life struggles knows the ultimate currency that has no “fiscal cliff” – Love. Love is the currency of eternity and is the only way we can buy our way there. Gerald V. Todd
(Loren writes) Some people may ask, "Why, God?" I don't see a cruel God anywhere around me, and so I always find myself asking "Why, people?" I nevertheless love both God and people. Some people may even ask, "Where is God now?" But to say "God lives" when times are bright and to say "God is Dead" when times are dark is human nature. I realized at a young age people ask different questions base on what's happening around them, so I figured to know who God is and if there is a God at all, one must go beyond that...everything happening in the here and now. Because we know good things happen, wonderful things happen, bad things happen, and nightmarish happen around us all over, every day.
We know a loving God is invisible from our sight in the here and now, and can feel far or non-existent to us in many ways. Everyone is different and has different ways or learning and perceiving and sensing and evaluating what they experience. My basis in believe in God is that I believe God is Love. Love is very, very, very real to me everywhere, and if God is Love, Love must be God. There are many nightmarish actions in this world in which God is not present--rather God is present where there is love. I believe God heals and does justice. And I and believe while there may be evil people among us, humanity is good and by mercy and love, we will go on. I am aching for the families right now. Their devastation is something I know I cannot fathom. If we make allusions to the scientific world of darkness does not exist as a substance but is the absence of light, then evil does not exist as a substance, but is the absence of God. Evil is very powerful and it can destroy lives from the inside out. It is easy to give up. It is easy to hate, and it is easy to become something else...something you're not meant to be.
That's why we need to take each other under wing and help each other, draw support from each other. Humanity must live as a singular ant colony in many respects. The food we give our hungry comrades is Love. The defense we offer the weak is Love. The sacrifices we make are done freely in Love. God may not be seeable to us, but people are and we must draw healing and love from people. Christ made no mistake when he said "I command that you love one another, as I have loved you. By this will all people know you are my disciples, if you love one another." They say also, that we meet Christ is people around us, and in everything good we see around us. When you connect A to B, when you sum everything up like this, I cannot help but believe in a Loving God, who comes to us in our friends, who comes to us in our families, who comes to us in the Police, in Doctors, in Statesmen, in Firefighters, in Artists, in Teachers, in the poor crying out for help, in sick and the dying who say simply, "Thank you for caring."
So if anyone asks "Where is God? What does he have to hide?" I might say, stop looking for a glorious beacon in the sky, or an old man with a grey beard wandering the universe, or even waiting for Christ to come in the clouds--because we live in a universe ruled by the physics of Time and Space, nature and destruction--a here and now. Look for God in the here and now, and you'll see that our Lord, our spirit of Love, is not hiding anywhere.
Hope! Faith! Love!
Believe! Be Strong! Be Whole!
Written by Loren John Presley, Bakersfield, California, December 14, 2012
Jerry is a retired engineer with strong experience in environmental innovation which he still applies today with 2 clean water and energy saving technologies. His life avocation in writing and study of philosophical and biblical themes as they apply to the body politic's spiritual warfare. He survived stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2006; now in excellent health. A graduate of the University of Illinois (1958, Industrial Engineering), Jerry had post graduate studies at both the University of San Francisco and the University of Santa Clara in California between 1961 and 1963 (Logic, Marketing). As co Founder and seminar presenter he was awarded a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Valley Christian University operating under California private-post secondary statutes for mid career student, VCU was the pioneer external degree school for mid career students. Its course structures were picked up by several well known Christian colleges. Hosted local broadcast radio and TV shows, "Religion on the Line" and "The News Firm" (jointly with wife, Joanne), respectively. Jerry has published several books that are available at Amazon. Jerry is available to speak as a visiting lecturer at the high school, college or community organization level. Jerry is married 55 years to Joanne Dean Todd – 3 children, 8 grandchildren.