Ring around the Rosie,
Pocket full of posies,
We all fall down…
We all know the script. After a tragedy such as what happened in Las Vegas, the news media will repeat everything 50 times, try to get new supposed experts to give opinions, and by the end of the day, the call for gun control pops up, and two milliseconds later, the gun advocates come up. Meanwhile, we are immersed in the worlds of those lost in the senseless slaughter; we hear stories of heroism and sacrifice. We learn of the reaction of the community, those who line up to give blood, those who send sandwiches to the local fire station, those who just sit with the victims, not doing anything more than providing human comfort when there are no words. Eventually the politicians get involved and great speeches with great promises, but in the end, nothing comes of it.
I was reminded last night that maybe there is nothing to be done, but instead we need to be. Yes, it sounds odd, but we need to be …
My pastor tells us that we cannot out-think evil. We cannot out-work the wicked. We can however, out love them. He also tells us not to worry, for worry does not get us anything. He is a wise man.
There is a tough message that we need to realize, however. We cannot go back to business as usual. We cannot revel in the misery of this situation, then go back to our normal lives and expect anything to be different. By the time the politicians are involved, there will be a number of new laws that are proposed. From new security measures, to gun bans, and surveillance of the citizenry. The problem is salvation won’t come on Air Force One, and righteousness doesn’t come with a new law. The problem is not in our government or our laws, the problem is in the heart of each and every one of us. It would be morbidly selfish to expect a law to come into effect and solve the problems and we can go back to our normal lives. In order to make changes in our society, we must change. Sadly, here are a few ways we need to change in ourselves…
If you love to point out the faults in others, you are part of the problem.
If you love to post edgy or sarcastic photo memes online, you are part of the problem.
If you harbor any sort of hate in your heart, you are part of the problem.
If you seek to push an agenda that is rooted in anything that is not kindness and loving, then you are part of the problem.
If you want to NOT be part of the problem, then we need to turn down the heat of the vitriol in our society. We need provide a safe space for us to have debate. Don’t get me wrong that safe space is not agreeing with another point of view, but being tolerant (truly tolerant) of others, and listening without mocking. We must hear other points of view in order to find a middle ground, or most likely a compromise, to fix the problem. There was a time when the politicians in our government would regularly seek to gather support for issues that affected the entire nation from all parties. That support may not have been given, but at the end of the day, they could share a civil meal.
If you truly want to help our society, make a serious effort to provide positive messages, in person, on the phone, and online. Keep away from the snarkiness and sarcasm. For those feed hate like gasoline feeds a fire. And hate is a cheap wine, we as a society have drunk too much of, for too long. Instead of giving in to the hate, try love. Try compassion. Try tenderness. Go to church this Sunday and look around, everybody there is a sinner just like you. We need to find the moral compass of our country once again. I think it might be found in a church pew, or in the pages of the bible. Sit in a pew with a friend, share a verse, ask each other questions. If you miss a ball game, or an hour of network news, it will still be there. We are called to do more for this world, and each other than to be a finger pointing at a problem, with no intention of lifting that same finger to help.