Posts Tagged ‘Washington Shooting’

This is not America

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Dr. Janis Orlowski, the chief operating officer of MedStar Washington Hospital Center, offered the following words in the wake of the shooting in Washington.

“There’s something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate… There’s something wrong here when we have these multiple shootings, these multiple injuries. There is something wrong, and the only thing that I can say is we have to work together to get rid of it. I would like you to put my trauma center out of business. I really would. I would like to not be an expert on gunshots…. [This is] a challenge to all of us…. This is not America.”

Many of us harbor that same vague disquiet.   I read of violence and mass causalities … this is not America.  I read of record economic inequality and pastor to middle age workers with diminishing hope of gainful employment … this is not America.  I read that “twerping” was the most googled terms several weeks ago … this is hopefully not America!

How do we then weave a platform for the future?  Connection.   That is the place to stand, the place to exercise our disciplined talents in its pursuit.  One author, Seth Godin, phrased it this way.  Connection … “the thoughtful, patient, mature, and modern approach wins out.  Because connection is built on trust and generosity, not on snark and short terms wins.” If as Swedenborg believed “Heaven is the only basis for our continued existence”, there is no shorter path to heaven than connection.

Churches play a huge role in that arena of self-less connection.  We not only invite all to the table, all to connect, but likewise carry an awareness of who is missing.

A Shooting in Washington

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the violent shootings yesterday in Washington DC. 13 died in yet another spasm of senseless violence.

Where do we settle with that? How do we hold it? I think the first most prayerful place rests with all the victims. The second place is to battle the numbness such events, given what appears like their increasing frequency, can engender. I certainly hope we never with a shrug dismiss these mini-cataclysms as tragic but “normal.” And the third place, maybe a place with less flash but more commitment, is to continue to stand solidly against violence in all its forms.

Violence is the one of the greatest evils we face. It draws on control, on distortion, on self-seeking power. In short, it draws on evil.

God is clear. Loving God is “not doing violence to any soul … because every soul is in the hand of the Lord” (Divine Providence 94). There is our stand.