No time to sleep

(Click here for a video of John reading this Catch.)

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by Marti Fischer

My heart hurts.

This is Makenna Lee, fourth grader from Uvalde, Texas. Yesterday morning that priceless smile of hers brought joy to those who knew her as she wished them goodbye before heading off to school. I imagine she had thoughts of summer vacation which was only two days away. But for sweet Makenna Lee, summer vacation will never come. She was cut down along with 18 of her classmates and two of their beloved teachers yesterday by a school shooter.

My heart hurts for her mother and father who had no idea they would never see her alive again.

Why Makenna Lee? Why her classmates? Why the community members in Buffalo, New York, whose center was a grocery store, where more than likely they knew each other by name? Why those just up the road from us who sought fellowship with one another in a Taiwanese church?

Why not me? Why not you, dear Catch citizens, for that matter? 

Did the children, community members, and people of faith take the bullet for me … for you? 

Don’t you think it is time for all of us to wake up from a long sleep? Isn’t it time to activate the Grace given to you and to me — to focus our attention on what matters while there is still time?

This is not a season to witch hunt — always on the lookout for the next murderer.  No, it’s the season to step out and look deeply into those in pain, in sorrow, in a state of anxiousness — all lonely, suffering people of all ages. Grace was given to me while I was still in pain, living amongst adversity, troubled within myself, fearful for all kinds of reasons. What about you, members of a community we call the Catch? Before Grace was given to you as a gift from God, what state of being did you exist in? 

Isn’t it time to look into the eyes of others and see what you can see, hear what you can hear, feel what you can feel — one person at a time?

“But Marti,” you say, “where is the logic in that? We must find reason behind this tragedy and the many that preceded it.  We must halt these massacres. We must strategize as to how best to fight for what is right. It is time to take an eye for an eye, where every action is met by an equal or an opposite reaction. Time to kick back at the darkness.”

And I say to you: “Thank God that Grace defies reason and logic — hand-in-hand with the kind of Love that interrupts the consequences of our actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I have harmed people greatly for my own benefit, my own cause, my own self-righteousness.

“God forgive me. By your power, Lord, take the grace you have given me and cause it to work through the holes in my heart so that you might bring your healing power to the broken hearts that surround me, wherever I might be today and to whomever I might meet. 

“God, allow the grace given to me to be given away today … and tomorrow … and before the next tragedy.   

“Dear Lord, my heart hurts for those touched by this massacre — and the indiscriminate killings everywhere, worldwide. I recognize now, more than ever, that this is not a time to sleep.  

“Keep me alive, always, to the hurt in my heart.”

This entry was posted in grace turned outward, Tragedy, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to No time to sleep

  1. Toni Petrella says:

    Thank God for his grace each day and the Son he sent to save all of us. This tragedy hurts more than any of us can possibly imagine. I pray each day and especially for the victims families and the town where this happened. I hope millions are doing the same. Now is a time for healing most of all and not pointing fingers. Take care, and God Bless to everyone and be with those where this happened.

  2. peter leenheer says:

    Marti every word of this Catch is spot on. For Jane and I this event broke our heart. For the families of the victims as well as, what compelled the shooter. What lack of love is present in his life what lack of acceptance of God’s grace? Sure he should pay for his crime. The question is how did he and many others like him get so disilusioned. What can be done about it?

    Steve Kerr from the Golden State Warriors said it well…”When is this going to end?’ He has experienced a similar tragedy in this family.

    • jwfisch says:

      I hate to say it, but it’s not going to end — not until Jesus comes back to set everything straight.

      • jwfisch says:

        Okay, I’m going to comment about my own comment. I posted this comment and then looked at it and thought, “Oh good, John. The eternal pessimist.” If I let this comment lie, it becomes fatalistic. Throw your hands up in the air; there’s nothing you can do. But then again, there is something we can do and Marti outlined it. So read her Catch again… and again …

  3. jwfisch says:

    It’s beginning to turn up that the shooter was bullied and had sexual identity issues.

  4. Mike High says:

    Thank you, Marti, for a beautiful and heartfelt message. It brought tears to my eyes, especially the prayer in the last several paragraphs. Something is deeply wrong with our society, that these tragedies keep occurring. I pray for the leaders of our country, that they made sure the leadership required to tone down the partisan bickering and get to the hard work required to determine a root cause of these issues and helping to bring people together to solve them.

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