Friday, December 14, 2012

Too early to talk about

Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!  Jeremiah 9:1

At 9:30 ET this morning a man entered an elementary school in Connecticut and started shooting people.  As I write, we still don't know how many were shot, or how many of those were children.  We do know the gunman is dead.  I presume his fatal wound was self-inflicted.

It is unimaginable that this should happen, even though this is not the first time a school has been the site of gun violence in America.  It is unimaginable that we cannot do something about this, that the wealthiest country in the world cannot afford healthcare for all which would provide mental healthcare for all.  That alone would not eliminate such violence; but surely it would lower the rate.  It is unimaginable that we don't at least tax ammunition in private hands to the point it would cost more to fire the gun than it would to own it.  It is unimaginable that we do nothing about this kind of violence, except attack the people who say we should do something about this kind of violence.

It is unimaginable that this would happen 10 days before Christmas.

First grade teacher Kaitlin Roig, 29, locked her 14 students in a classroom bathroom and listened to "tons of shooting" until police came to help.

"It was horrific," Roig said. "I thought we were going to die."

She said that the terrified kids were saying, "I just want Christmas…I don't want to die. I just want to have Christmas."
Return, O God of love, return,
Earth is a tiresome place;
How long shall we thy children mourn
Our absence from thy face?

--Early American hymn

 O Saviour, rend the heavens wide;
Come down, come down with mighty stride;
Unlock the gates, the doors break down;
Unbar the way to heaven's crown.

O Father, light from heaven lend;
As morning dew, O Son, descend.
Drop down, you clouds, the life of spring:
To Jacob's line rain down the King.

O earth, in flow'ring bud be seen;
Clothe hill and dale in garb of green.
Bring forth, O earth, a blossom rare,
Our Savior, sprung from meadow fair.

O Morning Star, O Radiant Dawn,
When will we sing your morning song?
Come, Son of God! Without your light
We grope in dread and gloom of night.

Sin's dreadful doom upon us lies;
Grim death looms fierce before our eyes.
Oh, come, lead us with mighty hand
From exile to our promised land.

--Frederich von Spee, 17th century

Rend the heavens and rend our hearts.  Whatever it takes, we need it now.  It is unimaginable that we are still waiting for God to come and save us from ourselves.  Whatever relief there is from this horror, we cannot seem to provide it.

We can't even seem to talk about how to prevent it.

1 comment:

  1. Is it too early to say that mass shootings are no longer isolated incidents? Lord, have mercy.