Thoughts and Prayers Are NOT Enough!

Just last Sunday I preached against the whole idea that everything happens for a reason, or at least against the idea that God causes everything to happen. “What kind of God would cause pain just to teach us something? Bad things happen… sometime because of our own decisions and choices… sometimes because of others’ decisions and choices… and sometimes it just happens…”

Last night and this morning as I watched the numbers climb in the latest mass shooting in the USA, I couldn’t help but think that there IS a reason that this bad, this horrendous, this EVIL thing keeps happening. The inability, or unwillingness, to take on the powerful gun lobby in the USA.

I know that we have our own issues around violence in Canada, even gun violence, especially when it comes to Black, Indigenous and other racialized people. I write this as a public inquiry into the largest mass shooting in Canadian history is underway in Halifax! But we do not have the ubiquitous gun culture that is so prevalent in the USA. I do not understand it, I can’t even begin to wrap my head around it. I am not anti-gun, my husband hunts, we have both enjoyed target shooting at a range, but I am rarely concerned about the possibility of gun violence no matter where I am in the country.

While I don’t endorse everything in this article, Why Can’t Women End Wars, Janine Di Giovanni makes a compelling case for more women being involved in making peace. And that includes the war that is taking place on USA soil, the undeclared war on its own citizens.

U.N. Women’s analysis of 40 peace processes since the end of the Cold War shows that, “in cases where women were able to exercise a strong influence on the negotiation process, there was a much higher chance that an agreement would be reached than when women’s groups exercised weak or no influence. In cases of strong influence of women an agreement was almost always reached.”

Janine di Giavanni

My only child is long out of elementary school, in fact, our youngest grandchild is out of elementary school, and it’s beyond my ability to imagine the stress that every parent in the USA carries in their bodies in some way, every day, when they send their children to school, hoping they will return alive. How much trauma? How much trauma for the families of these children? And the teachers? For the children who survived? How much grief? How much lost potential?

A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.

Jeremiah 31: 15

As a praying person, prayer is an appropriate response to horror and evil. But prayer is the beginning, not the end, it must lead to some sort of action. Ministry and Facebook has brought me into contact with many folks from the USA, most of us are on the same page when it comes to gun control. My prayer for you in that you connect, organize, run for office, whatever it takes, to be able for this to be the last time children come home from school in body bags.

4 thoughts on “Thoughts and Prayers Are NOT Enough!

  1. This is so very sad. I can’t understand why a teenager who is still a child himself would want to hurt other innocent children and teachers. It makes me wonder what kind of childhood he may have had to want to turn to this evil and senseless act. I for one, hate guns for personal reasons that I won’t go into. Gun laws in the US need more control. Not anyone should be able to go into a shop and buy a gun, especially teen children.
    Totally agree with your message 100%, Catherine.

  2. I certainly agree with everything you posted.there must be a way to stop these censuses killings.my thoughts and prayers are with the relatives of the victims of this horrendous crime.

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