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…”
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.
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?
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.