Antoinette Tuff looked at the face of death at the Atlanta GA school where she is a secretary. A young man before her was full of hate and without hope. He was also armed with an AK-47 and other weapons. He wanted to die that day and bring as many innocent children with him as possible. It was another Sandy Hook in the making. But this time there was no tragedy. Instead there was peace through a rare type of heroism which the world doesn't understand.
Antoinette Tuff stopped the power of hate with a force even more powerful. The power of Christ's unconditional love. With it, she got the crazed young man to lay down his weapon without pointing a gun herself. The world is in awe at the unbelievable strength of this modest woman.
What amazed the public is her calm under tremendous pressure, she knew the situation was extremely volatile, and could turn at any moment. Antoinette had fear, as anyone would, but she also had love, and as Scripture says, "Perfect love overcomes fear."
She had an advantage, however. Antoinette Tuff knows where her strength comes from.
"I give it all to God, I'm not the hero, I was terrified."
When and interviewer said, "But you kept it together" She replied, "I don't know how I did" then thought about it and added, "Through His grace and mercy I did.I just explained to him that I loved him. I didn't know his name, I didn't know much about him, but I loved him. And it was scary, because I knew at that moment, he was ready to take my life with his, and if I didn't say the right thing, then we all would be dead."
Antoinette Tuff overcame hatred with love, showing compassion to a hurting stranger, letting him know that she too has known sorrow. After thirty-three years of marriage, she lost her husband, and she, like the shooter, felt that no one loved her. She took a chance and shared her pain with the agonizing young man who admitted he was off his medication. She was buying time to give the police a chance to gain control of the situation and secure area, bringing the children to safety.But she was also speaking to a lost sheep, a young man for whom Christ died.
According to St Paul': But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. See Romans 5:8.
She knew God's love was stronger than death, and can overcome hatred. She knew that we are commanded to love our enemies.
From the Gospel of Matthew, 5: 43-48: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
Antoinette Tuff showed the world a dazzling glimpse of that perfection in the most horrifying of circumstances.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only, not of Spero News.