Friday, February 23, 2018

Guns and God....

This Lent our focus has been drawn away from - for some - closer to - for others - to God - why He allows violence to exist - in particular - surrounding  the recent school shooting that claimed the lives of 17 people - adults - students - all children of God. Many question - why God sits blindly by - allowing these tragedies to continue.  The real question - what is the matter with us - the people of these United States - that all of us - children and adults - sit on the side - allowing these incidents.  What is the matter with us - why have we become numb to  the realities of not only school violence - but violence in general.  Why do we make it a political issue - when it really is a moral issue - an issue of social concern for our fellow persons.  Satan has entered our lives to the point that he has us fighting among ourselves about weapons - of war - hunting - recreational shooting - when the  real issue is the individuals who commit these acts of violence against God's children.  Just as we cry and mourn the loss of innocent lives - so does God.  Every time something bad happens against anyone - God is displeased.  His failure to act - in reality our failure to act.  One of the great gifts to mankind - the gift of free will - freedom to acknowledge the existence of God - freedom to turn our eyes away - ignore Him - His commandments.  It is that same freedom of will that allows one individual to scheme - plan - commit - these violent acts - against others. The true issue here is not guns- gun rights - gun laws - age limits - it is all about being present to each other.  From what I understand - none of the individuals involved in any of the recent mass shootings - schools - LasVegas - were known criminals.  Criminals use guns to steal - rob - murder individuals.  Criminals do not plan mass killings - spree shooting - as a norm.  Thus - criminal background checks are useless when deciding who may - may not own a gun.  The recent mass shootings have been committed by ordinary people - people carrying some emotional burden - feeling unloved - alone - outcasts of society.  Most appeared normal - maybe some quirky - but none deemed a danger to society.  Every time you view an interview with those who knew the perpetrator - you hear that they appeared - normal - quiet - alone - not someone you would ever think could commit a violent act - yet - they do.  In retrospect - often they were bullied - ignored - often unloved - abandoned.  So I ask - who do you ignore - who do you know that is bullied - who is unloved - made to feel less than a human - when have you failed to stop - engage a fellow human - youth - adult - in a friendly conversation.  When have you ridiculed that person on the corner asking for help - rather than stopping and listening to their needs. When have you spent that extra $100 on a sporting event - personal comfort item - when the family next door was going hungry.  In reality - WE - THE PEOPLE - have created these individuals - by our lack of concern - for our fellow human - not considering their color - religion - ethnic background - educational - social level - WE - THE PEOPLE - are guilty.  This is not a political issue - it is a social issue and everyone of us needs to change the way we think - act - toward others - if we ever want to see this ended. 

God created us - man and woman - He created US - When He was done He looked upon all He had created - and He saw GOOD. God is not the issue - Guns are not the issue - the hearts and minds of each of us - is the issue.  This Lent - as you seek inner change - as you seek to grow in holiness - seek also how you may be a better steward of the people God has placed into your lives.

Deacon Dale