I’ve been sitting at my computer starting, and deleting posts for the better part of an hour. I didn’t want to write about the twenty year old who shot up the mall, killing five people, one being a sixteen year old girl who had survived cancer?!? WTAF? That is beyond heartbreaking to comprehend, and I feel so many emotions on behalf of her family. I also didn’t want to write about the millions of people without fresh water in Aleppo, or the photos of fathers carrying their injured, or even worse, dead children out of the rubble in that region. I’m desperate to post about something other than the CFL football player who was shot dead in Calgary last night, or the shooting of Keith Scott in Charlotte this week. I could go on, and on, and on, about any of the other horrible headlines that are in abundance, and impossible to get away from out there, and even though I’d rather not post about any of the above stories, no matter how hard I try to share about Kohl and Yannick’s four day long feud, or anything else light, witty, or sarcastic, it seems wrong. Insensitive. Crass. Cold. Heartless. Yet just like any other time there were more disheartening things to post about than uplifting topics, today I still struggle with; “just getting on with my life” and posting about anything other than the loss of life. I also battle with not wanting to add any fuel to the fire of hatred, sadness, or injustice by talking about it. You know how they say you attract what your mind is focused on? I don’t want to be forced by mad people to become another host to sadness, fear, or helplessness. Because you see, this is precisely what people who are filled with hate, bitterness and rage want from me, from you. But I’m not going to cave, I’m not going to let them win.
So, in order to be true to myself, while still honoring those who have lost their lives over the weekend, and those who are fighting for theirs on a daily basis. I will instead leave us all to ponder the things that I’ve been wondering all week long. What is it about the way some people were raised, the way some people think that makes it okay in their minds to dump their hatred on so many innocent people? What are these haters gaining? What’s in it for them? All these questions really, and truly make me go “hmmm.”
I’m going to leave you all with this prayer. Say it out loud for those who have lost so much, and say it for anybody you know in your life struggles with unwarranted hatred against people they don’t even know. If we instead meditate on how we want the world to be, instead of how the media wants us to believe the world is, I do believe we will see peace brought about in our lifetimes.
O Lord, awaken the consciousness of all peoples and their leaders; raise up men and women full of love and generosity who can speak and act for peace, and show us new ways in which hatred can be left behind, and wounds can be healed, and unity can be restored.
Henri J.M Nouwen
A Cry for Mercy