Finding Hope in Turmoil
Reflections on the attack in Kawasaki, Japan.
Heart-breaking news came out of Kawasaki, Japan, last week that eighteen schoolchildren and two adults had been injured in a random knife attack. Two of them died in the horrifying assault: one of them just eleven years old, the other a 39-year-old father. It is beyond imagination how terrified the victims must have been and how devastated their families are as they face this unexpected tragedy.
Japan has long been considered one of the safest countries in the world. Violent crime is extremely rare and weapons are strictly regulated. The incident has left the nation in shock. The suspect, a man in his fifties, fatally stabbed himself on the scene, which leaves us with numerous questions on the motive of the atrocity. It is reported that he was isolated in society and scarcely had interactions with his family. In Japan, there are many people who are living isolated lives, often in their bedrooms, withdrawing themselves from the outside world for various reasons like bullying, unemployment, insecurity, or mental illness.
This act of violence is horrendous. The rampage involved children waiting for a school bus to take them to a prestigious Catholic school founded by missionaries from Canada. They named the school “Caritas,” which is a Latin word for “love.” If only the suspect had known the caritas of Christ–the love that gives hope to the hopeless and intimacy to the marginalized.
If only the suspect had known the caritas of Christ–the love that gives hope to the hopeless and intimacy to the marginalized.
Our sincere prayer is that the survivors will heal and the bereaved families will be comforted by the love and compassion of the Lord. The ultimate hope that we have is in Jesus Christ, the Savior who understands suffering and bears the burden with us.
Let us also pray for those who are isolated in darkness, that the light of the gospel would be made known. May God fill this world with his compassionate and faithful caritas.
Yutaro Kato is the first-ever OCCA Fellow from Japan and works with the RZIM Asia-Pacific team based in Singapore. Yutaro comes from a long family line of Christians and is passionate about the unity of the global church.
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