Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Peripheral Response to America’s Violent Crisis

In this world of instant information and online connectedness, everyone was reeling in the aftermath of the Connecticut shootings yesterday. Like many others my heart was torn, but I didn’t see any reason to add my obvious and natural response to the chorus of internet comments. The problem America is currently experiencing is shocking. The shootings seem to be increasing in frequency and it is unimaginable that it would impact a kindergarten.

However, as I reflected on this latest tragedy, another thought came to mind. This is a good time for a wake-up call to be voiced again. Maybe it will be heard. More likely it will not.

(Before I go on I should mention that this is not intended to be an addition to the ongoing gun-control conversation. Surprisingly, this was a significant part of the comments emerging in the hours following the shooting. People seem to be programmed to jump to the defense of gun ownership after these events. It is frankly shocking to me, especially since it seems to be a standard operating response from “conservatives” and “Christians.” Stop and think about it, people. You are on the wrong side of this argument!)

This should (instead) be a wake-up call for the Church in America. We were shocked that 20 children were the target of an evil man. That was unthinkable. Every day many more children and babies die while we blissfully ignore that fact. It has been ignorable.

God must experience a similar grief to what we are feeling every day while children die in this sinful world. Yet He has an instrument in the world that He wants to use to change things: His church. We have the awareness, the means, and the resources to not only help people find the answers to their eternal problem, but many of their temporal ones as well. It is obscene that children die of starvation and lack of clean water every day while we spend billions of dollars on our entertainment and obesity.

Take the emotions you feel today and make a change in the way you spend. Give more. Serve more. Do more for others. Back up your message of hope with a life of love in action.

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