The motion picture the sound of music came out in 1965. I didn’t see the  movie until I was about eight years old when they released it in theaters which would’ve been in the early 1970s I didn’t know much about world history at the time, and I most enjoyed the music and the dance numbers in addition to the scenery, so to see what was going on in the world at the time in the movie was all new to me. I had no idea at age 9 what the Nazis were or what  a swastika stood for, but I didn’t know that none of it seemed to add up to very good. During the movie, the music would change during the tense moments in the movie, like when the family was supposed to show up on stage to receive  their award at the Salzburg Music Festival to when they were hiding in the Abby when the Nazi guards came looking for them. What that movie did do for me was that  it prompted me to do more reading on the subject of World War II.   I read books like The Upstairs Room by Joanna Reiss, The Diary of Anne Frank and  The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.  These books told the personal stories of World War II Europe.  It was very sad to read what these families went through, maybe looking back they were books that were too sad for a child between the ages of nine and twelve to read, but they  filled in some of the missing pieces of what my dad would tell us from what he went through growing up in war torn Eastern Europe. When my dad would talk about growing up, he would often tear up and have to stop and change the subject. Reading the books, gave me a sense of what my dad might have gone through as a child, growing up during the tough times.  Reading those stories gave a picture of what true evil was and man’s inhumanity to man.  That is what one sees during wartime, evil, and man’s inhumanity to man. I remember crying in bed some nights, thinking of what Anne, Corrie and the two characters in Joanna Reiss’s book experienced as young girls just a little older than myself at the time.

    As sad as those stories were to read, they’re always seem to be goodness in them. Goodness in the people who risked all they had to save someone else’s life and goodness and hope that things would get better.  I remember seeing the movie of The Hiding Place and crying at the end of the movie.  Crying for the goodness in the hearts of Corrie Ten Boom and her family who hid and organized the hiding of many Jews in their home and the homes of their family members.  To think of what their goodness could  have cost them and did many, they still did it.  Think of Oskar Schindler of the movie, Schindler’s List, based on the book, Schindler’s Ark, who was a member of the Nazi party and a successful businessman who bribed SS officials not to take his employees to concentration camps.  He spent his life’s savings until the end of WWII, to keep his employees.  Later in life, those he saved, supported him and his wife when they ran across hard times.  When they died, they were buried on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.  To think of what he did, in the face of evil to save his employees is remarkable.  Being found out could have been the  end of his life.  What goodness in his heart he must have had.

    Evil and goodness; two extremes.  Both can bring out strong emotion and yet both can make us cry.  I worry for the time when they don’t bring tears to our eyes.  Maybe we’re there.  We see evil on tv and some live it.  It can be violence right on the street or on the subway in a major city. It can be a school shooting it can be violence for just the sake of being violent.    It is man’s inhumanity to man.

    It all used to make us stop in our tracks, cry and it used to be the leading story on the six o’clock news.  Think back to that first school shooting in Columbine, Colorado.  We were stunned, some of us who had kids in school picked them up.  Now, when there’s another one, we acknowledge it and it’s just another one on the list.  Politician try to make it political and people seem to forget the lives lost and the lives turned upside down after a few days of it in the news.  Those families are faced to deal with it for the rest of their lives.  The evil doesn’t seem to have the same affect that it used to.

    Goodness. Do we feel as emotional as we used to at the sight of goodness?  Think of someone who saves someone’s life, sometimes risking their own.  Does their bravery bring tears to our eyes?  Are we stirred by a patriotic song and the dedication of our military services and first responders?

    Goodness and evil stir the heart.  Maybe it’s that the world has become numb to the evil because we see it up and personal everyday on our devices.  Maybe because people are just concerned with the needs and  issues of their own families that they don’t get stirred.  I think of the former Marine, Daniel Penny who was stirred.  Stirred at the evil he saw on his subway ride in New York City.  He saw the fear on the faces of his fellow passengers and he acted.  They feared for their lives as the young man also on their ride was out of control and looked as if he would harm them.  Utilizing his military training, he took action along with a couple other passengers and they restrained the man they all feared.  Unfortunately, the man died.  Regardless of whether or not Penny goes to prison if found guilty of the charges, for  the rest of his life, he will relive that experience, most likely.  What sane person would want to kill anyone?  But in defense, one who had the ability just might, if they feared for their life or the lives of others.  There are no winners here.  Most likely, Penny would not want to be called a hero as someone lost their life.  Tragic anyway you look at it.

    Let us not be numb to the evil in the world.  Let it stir the goodness in our hearts all to pay attention, take positive actions and pray for greater days.