News, Tragedy

Even Texas

As I’m sure you’ve heard, there was a mass shooting in Texas. It was in a Baptist Church, no less, nothing anyone ever wants to think about. It caused me to reminisce about Sunday mornings as a child with my family.

As a little girl going to Sunday service, I never really imagined the idea that some madman or woman could walk into a church and inflict murder. I knew we had a security system but other than that, I always felt relatively safe. It was a place where families gathered and most of my first friendships formed — it was a loving community and safe.

Nearly twenty years later, I don’t have that same feeling. I see the guarded police at the door and the entrance of our house of worship, and I wonder if he’s there for more than just “directing traffic”. I know that they are there for the potential of much more… and I hang my head at the somber reality.

But this morning, after hearing the news of Texas, was eerily different. I stood during the service and had the same fleeting thought I usually have nowadays. What if a killer opens fire in here? What will I do? Drop to the floor? Run to the nursery for Chase? Run with Greg to the exits? I find it so uncanny that this thought plagued my soul this morning, where shortly after many were shot in the south.

After the numbing effects of tragedy after tragedy, I think we have two choices. We can either become obsessed with how horrific this world has gotten and discuss it at length, feeling worse about ourselves and the situation. The second choice is to understand the limits of our own humanity. We are only flesh and blood, sent with a purpose in this life. To become obsessed and bitter doesn’t help us live a fuller life nor does it fulfill our purpose.

The pulsating sound of a bullet, and the image of dropping to the ground should be our every morning thought.

If I die today, can I say I’m at peace? At peace with God, with my family, with myself?  The realization of our finite existence should provoke us to live with the end in mind.

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Faith, News, Tragedy

Terror in NYC — Again.

Terror ripped through Manhattan yesterday –literally– and I’m less than stunned. Terror seems to become more common place these days — a cyclical pattern, similar to the weather. It is the “hurricane season” that never really goes away. And every time it blows it’s howling winds through our country, we all feel a little less of it’s destruction. Regular terrorism is a poison that is it’s own anesthetic.

I’ve watched the television screens before and thought, “Thank God it’s not me.” It’s selfish, but I take a moment to distance myself from the event. Maybe you feel that same. The Boston Marathon bombing, the attacks in Paris, the concert in Las Vegas… “Not me.” I’m still struck with the sadness for those who fell victim, but out of the interest of self-preservation, I’m grateful that my friends and family made it out of “this one.” But yet– there’s still that nagging reality that hits and makes you realize, even you aren’t invincible.

Post-attack, sentiments like “what is this world coming to?” and “wow, how horrible to raise our babies in this?” And I understand those thoughts — I have many times thought the same.

This is when I remember we are on Earth and it is imperfect. As real as good is on the Earth, so is evil. I don’t believe it will ever truly go away, that’s what Heaven is for and our souls long for it. But this Earth is flawed, as is humanity. But the awesome news is that good always wins. Maybe that’s what we need to tell each other.

Good always wins.

We may not see it right now and it may look like all there is in our world is destruction. But evil won’t persist forever. The things that are wrong will be made right. And those who are responsible will have a Judge to decide their fate.

And good always wins.

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