I hate killing. Mass murders are in the headlines. My country is engaged in an election which is more like a war. Hatred and vitriol are the fare of the public media. And there is no solace in the fact that whichever candidate I vote for, they will be the elected commander-in-chief of a large army; a killing machine that may, for whatever rationale they give, offer and take the lives of more and more people.
I remember a time past, when I was on a search for some peace. I was driving over some isolated mountain ranges on the Virginia, West Virginia border. The air was crisp, the mountaintop views spectacular. Lower, in the valleys, where the frosts and winds had only made random visits, the trees were a blaze of color: deep and rich reds, bright and dazzling yellows and every imaginable shade of brown. Because the traffic was sparse, the leaves accumulated on the road and blew up behind me in a crinkly autumn wake. Only at the last minute did I discern a small turtle amid the leaves, too late to swerve. I heard the distinctive crunch and saw its destroyed body in my rear view mirror and immediately felt the loss.
I hate killing, and especially with my car. It seems so unnecessary but so unavoidable and when it happened it left me in a ponderous dilemma of remorse with no resolve, just like this election, and the news, often does.
Alone, pulled off the road on the mountain top, I looked again for solace. In the quiet I sensed that God hated killing too. And that He hated death even though it was somehow necessary.
Dare we look behind the headlines, the anger, the tragedies, and beyond death. While killing and death is a weeping sadness, God offers forgiveness and a joyful resurrection of life in the gospels. There is hope for the soldier, the innocent civilians caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, even the turtle, and for you and for me. Hope for peace and a life beyond this painful earthbound one.
– Larry Berger. Hashtag #79, July 2016.
Check out Larry’s book! It’s available at the Wild Bean, Bakery on N. Court Street, and Edith’s in downtown Lewisburg, WV.
HASHTAGWV ART & ENTERTAINMENT Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Christina Entenmann-Edwards has been a WV resident since September 2008. She was born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and is no stranger to hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2006, she graduated from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, Connecticut), Cum Laude, with a B.A. in History. In 2010, she graduated with an M.B.A. from Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia). In February 2012, Christina launched HashtagWV as the area’s first full-color, free arts and entertainment tabloid + online platform. Christina completed the Leadership West Virginia class of 2021, which is an innovative program that grows, engages, and mobilizes leaders to ignite a life passion to move West Virginia forward.