And a time to speak…

This past week, I have been experiencing indescribable sorrow, but more so anger over the school shooting in Uvalde. I didn’t know any of the children, the teachers, or their families. Nevertheless, the needless loss of life always strikes a chord. I didn’t know what to do with this anger. If it wasn’t for the anger the sorrow would be overwhelming. My heart goes out to the families of the children and the teachers. I want to share my feelings of frustration with a political party that purports prolife, but is so far of the mark they don’t realize they are pro-sacrifice.

Moreover I saw under the sun: In the place of judgment, wickedness was there; and in the place of righteousness, iniquity was there. I said in my heart, “God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.”

Ecclesiastes 3:16-17

As I noted, I didn’t know the people, but I know the town. Uvalde is on Hwy 90. The town has it’s own charm. It’s one of many stops down to Del Rio and other destinations west. It’s a very scenic drive. I had to ask myself, “Should I be angry over the needless tragedy of last week?” I had to answer, yes. Because this was a preventable act of violence. Yes. Because it could have taken place at any school, at my grandson’s school. It’s been seven days since nineteen students and two teachers were mercilessly gunned down in a place where lessons were ending for the school year. That’s what students long for, the last day of school. The anticipation is not easy to contain. My grandkids have been talking about summer plans since after Spring Break. Yesterday, I walked past the pool at my daughter’s apartment. Usually the pool is empty, but not on a school holiday. The laughter of parents and children splashing in the pool, enjoying the holiday, made my heart sink. There were nineteen children that were taken. I would rather say that God called them home. Nevertheless, it angers me that nineteen children and two adults were sacrificed to the god of American freedoms. As Americans, we are thankful for these freedoms. Our own have died to preserve these freedoms. Nevertheless, the 2nd Amendment, the right to bear arms, requires sacrifice. On May 24, 2022, before the noon hour, nineteen elementary students and two teachers, unwittingly took their place on the sacrificial alter in the name of the 2nd Amendment. I was reminded of the Texas GOP leader who often opposed COVID mandates noted Texas seniors should and would sacrifice their lives to get the economy going.

“No one reached out to me and said, ‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that America loves for its children and grandchildren?’ And if that is the exchange, I’m all in,” Patrick said.

(https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/texas-lt-gov-dan-patrick-suggests-he-other-seniors-willing-n1167341)

Then I remembered the big Texas freeze. We were freezing because the Texas GOP refuses to be accountable to federal regulators.

Questions surrounding this latest tragedy will be endless. Top of the list is, “How can an 18 year old who cannot yet purchase liquor or cigarettes, be able to purchase an assault rifle?” It’s a rhetorical question.

Opinions regarding mass shootings are now nothing more than rhetoric. Everyone seems wise in their own eyes. News sources feast on the sorrows of those left behind. Elected officials stumble in the dark. The church says “Pray for the victims.” Pray for the families. As if that is not our first response. Everyone has a front row seat via their electronic devices. We are all at the scene. We call to check on our children though they are no where near the scene. We hold tight to our babies. And the people shout, “We need more than prayer!” The children plead, “Please send the police now.” Will this exchange ever change? Are we, as Americans, willing to sacrifice our lives to preserve our American freedoms? Are we all ready to hear, “You’re all going to die.” Of course not. In Texas (and other states) citizens can open carry as of last year when new gun laws went into effect. They are ready to defend themselves and others. And yet… massive failure by trained law enforcement agencies.

If we leave out the biblical narrative, our reality is that we live in a world where good and evil are neighbors. Often, it’s the same person. I don’t want to live in fear and I don’t want my children too either. But, we live in a world where those who by design should nurture, teach and protect, abuse and destroy. It happens any where and everywhere that people gather. I read where it happened in the metaverse. We can’t blame everything on mental health. We live in a country where lust, greed and power is called achieving the American Dream. We say, “We are blessed.” We live in a world where one man’s blessing, is another man’s persecution. That’s a harsh reality. Inequity is all around us.

We live in a world where Biblical law is used to enslave people to a law no human could keep. I live in a state where prosperity, and passing anti-abortion laws seem to be God’s primary goal for Texas. We live in a society where many Americans take constitutional freedoms as a means to legally hate. As Christians, we take our American freedoms as God given rights. We live in a world where the Son of God, who came to save and not destroy is depicted (crude satire) armed with an assault rifle ready to defend and kill.

My faith in God may waver, but God is faithful. I know that my God heals. My God comforts. My God, the God of the heavens, the Creator of all things, the God who so loved the world, sent His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, He is who He says He is, of that I am fully persuaded. My views on today’s church that’s a different story. My views on celebrity pastors…well. The Scriptures are clear.

As it is written:

“There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”
“Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”; “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Romans 3:10-18

Hence, I pray for God’s forgiveness for judging Texas Republican leaders for taking more concern for the unborn, then for the living. They seem to want to construct a sort of utopian society where there is no evil and all roads lead straight to heaven. If the Texas GOP is conservative based on their biblical beliefs than they should know that heaven on earth is not possible. Because as Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” It’s all very pharisaical.

The only place where anything makes sense to me, is in Christ Jesus. Believing in God and Jesus Christ and all things God is impossible without the Holy Spirit. He reminds me of the promises of God. Many Christians believe we are living in the end times. When I hear of tragedies as we saw on May 24, I want to believe as much. That’s a post for another day.

John 14:26
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

James 1:26
“If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.”

Every tragedy leaves its mark… Trying to make sense where there is no sense, of yet another senseless act of gun violence. Praying for the people of Uvalde. God is with you.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen

Psalm 23

Thank you for reading. Be blessed.

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