I am troubled. Not because the Indians are terrible. Not because it finally got hot & humid this summer. Not because I can not for the life of me find my favorite rain coat (brown carhart, hooded – last seen at church. Have you seen it?).
I am troubled because of an article I read this past week. On July 23rd, the 204th day of the year we had the 204th mass shooting in our country. Quick math – that is one mass shooting (defined as shooting of 4 or more people in one incident) PER DAY in this country, this year.
I don’t care to even touch the gun debate issue with a 400 foot pole. I am well aware that this is an emotional, hot, fiery topic in our country and evokes all sorts of wild emotions. I do believe we can do more to prevent some of these shootings but not infringe on the rights of all Americans.
I want to pray for our country and for our leaders and for the victims of these shootings and for the people who have chose to use guns. I want to make sense of all of this. I want to find a solution. I want to know what Jesus would say about all of this.
I want compassion and discussion and understanding around mental illness.
I want articles about 204 random acts of kindness in the first 204 days of 2015 instead of the alternative.
We have the answer to this problem and it stares us right in the face every time we read the Gospels. Love. A whole, massive, ocean liner load of love.
I believe that if each and every one of us approached each new day as a gift and a blessing…things would be different.
I believe that if each an every one us extended help and grace and peace to every other soul we encounter…things would be different.
I believe that if each and every one of us acted as the Samaritan did on the Road to Jericho in each of our lives…things would be different.
I believe that if each and every one of us simply listened to each other…whether we know for a fact we don’t necessarily agree…things would be different.
I don’t want to live in a world where the daily occurrences we talk about our mass shootings. I want to be talking about daily occurrences of us feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, providing homes for the homeless and care for the sick.
I want to live in a world where we choose love always.
It’s on each one of us. Daily. To decide. Am I going to be a light in this world or not?
“Nothing changes if nothing changes.” -Ernie Larson
I pray that the remaining 154 days in 2015 are filled with acts of extravagant love and not senseless violence. I pray that we find a way to talk about these issues without polarizing the matter and retreating to the far ends of the field. I pray that each one of us chooses to be a light in this world with every new day and every new encounter and every new experience.