My heart is heavy for many families.
Right now the news is filled with reports of gun violence—again.
Our nation’s collective memory is short when it comes to gun violence. Columbine. 1999. Wait—Kent State. 1970. Wait—John F. Kennedy. 1963 Wait—Abraham Lincoln. 1865.
Guns kill. That’s what they’re made for. Animals. People.
Do we remember which is which anymore?
A mere month ago 49 people were killed in Orlando. 49 families lost someone they loved.
The parents of the children gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary are still grieving their loss. You may have forgotten how long ago (or recent) that horrific event took place. (2012) None of them have forgotten.
Now in a mere 48 hours 7 more people have senselessly been gunned down. Execution style or sniper. Does it really matter?
My heart is heavy for the families. I know what it feels like to lose someone in a moment at the end of the barrel of a gun.
My Dad turned his own gun on himself in 2008, shattering our family and his body simultaneously.
Is it the gun’s fault? Hardly. It’s an inanimate object. A gun becomes a weapon when wielded toward a target; whether animal or person.
We argue for rights. The arguments are heated. The answers, the solutions are vague, uncertain. Perhaps we have come too far down this path for a peaceful resolution. Perhaps we are not done with hearing another report of shots fired, of lives lost, of families shattered.
How do we bear up under the weight of all this loss? How do we have a civilized conversation about guns in light of all this violence? What about deeper issues of mental health or hopelessness or racial and religious divides?
Our country is assailed by gun violence. If someone lives different or looks different or believes a different doctrine than someone with a gun there is a chance they’ll be gunned down.
Are you kidding me? When will all this madness end?
We are broken. Individually. Brokenness is the human condition. Collectively we are apparently spinning out of control. How does one person bear up under the weight?
There is One Person waiting to hear from each of us.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.
Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.
When Jesus saw his friends grieving the loss of their brother, He didn’t lecture. He wept. Then He prayed.
A good model for how to bear up under the weight of grief. Not platitudes. Practical.
Prayer is my chance to bring my heavy heart to the only One who can shoulder this heavy weight. Looking at Jesus and how He was present in His friends’ grief, silent and empathetic without platitudes or promises, helps me to know how I may bear up under this heavy weight of grief.
Jesus is not the poster boy for the NRA or the Republican Party. Or ANY party.
He is God.
Draw near to Him.