There’s not a one of us right now that isn’t sickened and saddened by the events taken place the past few days in our nation. More acutely, there are women mourning the loss of their husbands, children trying to understand that daddy will never come home, and mothers who will never feel their son’s strong arms again. One wife watched her husband die after being shot, the other heard about it on the local news. One child could smell the sulfur from the recently discharged gun, the other fearfully watched his mother fall apart after hearing that her husband was “one of the ones”. Both mothers struggle to understand how another human being could be so hateful as to shoot their son in cold blood.
We are a mess.
As social media blows up in the wake of all of this, one thing stands out to me among others: we must not dig our heals in. We can not allow ourselves to become so divided that we pass a point of no return with a strictly ‘us and them’ narrative. There is room for talk and discussion. There is room for compromise. There is room for both sides to admit that work can be done within each community to bring us closer together. There is a time (I would say that this could be it) that we say to one another “We are better than this, let’s work this out.”
Our instincts would tell us to fight. They would have us defer to adrenaline and emotions and fear in the face of a threat that has no name and moves like a ghost among us. Can we step back for a moment? Do we have the wherewithal in ourselves to take a deep breath and allow reason to prevail? Are we mature enough to understand that we can overcome our initial instincts in order to examine the causes and treat them, rather than just slapping a band-aid on the symptoms out of a hurried reaction? Can we employ thought and dialogue in a healthy way to strengthen our nation? Most importantly, can we summon grace from within ourselves at this moment and dole it out in great portions to one another?
I hope. I hope dearly and I hope with every breath that I take that we can somehow manage to open our ears to each side, look at the evidence with impartial eyes, and feel the pain of every wife, child, and mother out there who today must accept the fact that they have lost a part of themselves. This is our challenge, may we rise to it for the sake of one another.
To grace, and our nation.