Where do I start? It would be better if I were able to talk about where, when and how it will all end. Over the last twenty-four hours in the United States of America there have been two more mass shootings, extinguishing the lives of twenty-nine people and injuring a horrible number of others.
I wrote the above sentences while sitting in church listening to a sermon titled “A Heart Condition.” The preacher was effectively making the point of just how ineffective the church (the people claiming faith in Christ) are performing according to behavioral requirements presented in scripture. As usual I found myself listening to words that appropriately addressed the gruesome news I had just heard [on my way to church] about another mass shooting in the heart of America. I had just gone to bed the night before with news of the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas at the Walmart store. Not twenty-fours later there was another event involving the actions of a shooter, who turned his rage on people out for a good time in Dayton, Ohio.
As I sat in church, going through a litany of emotions, thinking about how discounted some must view the value of life, I could see what would happen next. There would be the normal moral outrage from talking heads on television, spouting reasons why and how this whole thing could be ended. There would also be the seemingly lost and inept politicians making comments, careful not to offend their supporters, about what the real issues are. If you listen to them all, you start to think why we elected them to office. Aren’t they supposed to be the crème de la crème of the thinkers and problem solvers in our land? Aren’t they supposed to be the ones who are charged with, and passionately motivated to do what’s good for the people of the nation, without bowing and scraping to “special interests” that are more concerned with mammon than people? I could almost prophesy that a frenzy of activity would occur from coast to coast, northern to southern border, and then the wind would seep from the balloon, leaving us with flatten concerns as usual.
I’ve had two days to think more about El Paso and Dayton which popped up in the headlines over this past weekend, and now I find myself just as troubled and dismayed as I was Sunday morning. The only way I can appropriately describe the condition we’re in in America today is that we’re suffering from a “A Heart Condition”, as the preacher said in Sunday’s sermon. Our national heart is infected with hate, envy, malice, disdain, disregard and a few other adjectives that describe how we regard each other. The flames that spew the ashes containing these emotions are fueled from the highest levels of opinion leaders, who should know better, in our nation. One might ask: Shouldn’t the people know better? At the end of the day, people are just people, with heart conditions that need healing salve from their leaders. That salve can only come from YAWEH! But that salve will never come from simply offering prayers and good wishes after incidents like El Paso and Dayton. It must come in the form of action. We must build another corporation in America: Non-violence, Inc. LLC. A better mouse trap is always better for everybody.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.