Fun, laughter, celebration, death. What word does not belong here? Ten innocent people died having a good time celebrating the Lunar New Year in a dance studio of all things less than an hour away from where I sit this morning, and I try to ignore it but it won’t go away.
I know you didn’t want to come to the Catch today and see this, but I didn’t want to come to my newspaper this morning and see it either. I didn’t seem to have a choice in the matter. Someone with a weapon intruded on my sense of the sanctity of life and God’s gifts to us regardless of our race, religion or station in life. One life is sacred — beyond all attempts to measure its worth — it just is a violation of everything we hold dear for anyone to take one person’s life, much less ten people. That someone can even do this is wrong. These are wrongful deaths. Every one of them is wrong.
Everything about it is wrong — terribly wrong. The violence, the ease by which lives were ended, the person who did it, the reason for which it was done — all wrong, wrong, wrong. The devil had a hand in this. He is the destroyer.
We cannot stop this. It will happen again. But we can do something. We can value life. We can affirm the beauty and the dignity of each person alive. We can celebrate each one as a unique creation of God. We can value each person and tell them so. We can tell them how much we appreciate that they are alive today. Overcome what is wrong with what is right. Don’t let anyone take what is right away from you. Life is precious.
Yes, we will pray for the family and friends of those who lost their lives in this tragedy, and for the injured, whose lives will be forever altered. We have prayer warriors praying around the clock. They are also standing by for your personal requests. If you aren’t praying, you are worrying. Record your prayer requests by finding the prayer link in the right column. .
Thank you for sharing this. True, no one wants to read about this. But none of those personally affected wanted it to happen. All of our hearts need to pray and be with them. Even though we can’t make the tragedy and the pain go away, perhaps we can carry it with these persons.
I was raised in South Central L.A. and graduated from a large high school with a big melting pot of nationalities. I didn’t look at the color of their skin or where they came from because I saw friends, people I loved and cared about. The world needs Jesus because He’s the only one who can help them see others through His eyes!! Praying for all those involved and their families!!! 💕💖
It is tragic to be sure and there is no way to minimize it, nor should it ever be trivialized. The grief will never fade for the loved ones of the dead and the repercussions will be felt for generations to come.
What is really heartbreaking, too, is that, as of this writing, there have been 36 mass shootings (defined as an incident in which four or more victims are shot or killed) in the United States already this year.
The fact that I even have to write “as of this writing” is depressing in itself; how many more will suffer a “wrongful death” before I hit “Post Comment”?
And, even more disturbing (to me, anyway) is that my personal shock, horror, anger, agitation, and other emotions – which used to be so raw when learning news of this kind – are now rather numb, no longer surprised (even indifferent), wondering where and how soon the next incident will occur; hoping it doesn’t happen near me and my “safe” little corner of the planet.
There is some sadness but I can’t even fathom what those directly impacted are feeling right now.
And, I guess I do experience anger to a degree. Anger toward the perpetrators, of course. Anger toward the society, community, village, family, and friends that were supposed to nurture these people into becoming good, upright, and caring citizens contributing to the common good – not to the misery they unloaded.
I confess I get tired of hearing the now-overused phrases of, “Pray for____,” and “____ -Strong,” etc.; and the politically-motivated finger-pointing; and the self-righteous assertions from both pro and anti-gun advocates; and the incessant news coverage; and the forever fruitless analysis trying to get into the mind and motives of the murderers.
And resignation, too: The now-ingrained feeling that most of us know we’ll be hearing about another massacre again before too long; that all the bluff and bluster from the previous incidents had no effective outcomes; and that we’ll all be riding this grim joyless carousel once again.
While I ponder the attacks, assaults, and mass murders that took place last year in such places as Milwaukee, Sacramento, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Uvalde, Tulsa, Philadelphia, Newark, Highland Park, Greenwood, Memphis, Raleigh, Moscow, Charlottesville, Colorado Springs, Chesapeake, Detroit, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, and elsewhere…
…I try to place some sort of perspective on it; I try to see what makes these heinous acts of brutality any different from the horrors being experienced in places like Ukraine, Afghanistan, North Korea, etc.; where lives are being indiscriminately cut short; where torture is the reality and quick death is desired; and where the cries and prayers of grieving loved ones must be reverberating throughout the hallways of Heaven. Is Anyone there? Does Anyone care?
And when I realize that I can’t make any sense of it, I have to remind myself that it is all being permitted for a purpose; some higher, mightier, better purpose.
Yet, I hardly understand what that means, particularly from my “safe” little corner of the planet. Sure, those words may be comforting thoughts to me but they don’t serve the tormented and dying very usefully.
Still, though, I pray.
I pray for peace (global, local, and internal); comfort for the afflicted; an end to conflict; an enlightenment of mind to haters, murderers, dictators, sinners, and saints; the salvation and redemption of all, particularly those suddenly gunned down or bombed to obliteration; and I pray for the soon return of Jesus and the eternal establishment of His peaceable Kingdom.
But, especially in times like these I also pray…
“How long, O Lord? How long?”
Des Moines, Iowa.
Half Moon Bay, California.
Just this afternoon.