Thursday, May 29, 2014

What We've Forgotten This Week

The big news story this week is the shooting in Santa Barbara, California.  Many people are responding to the event by offering their opinions on gun control, sexism, and other issues.  In our rush to discuss those topics, however, I believe we have forgotten two important things.

First and foremost, we have forgotten that there are several grieving families out there.  We have forgotten about the Rogers family as they come to terms with what he has done.  We have also forgotten about the six people who died and the others who were injured by the attacker as well as their families.  Before we move into these other topics, I believe that we need to care for these families.  How can we walk with them during their time of grief?

In the aftermath, many people are focusing on the attacker's comments about sex.  The conversation often focuses on the attacker's, and society's, attitudes concerning sex.  The attacker assumed that he deserved sex.  Society calls us, men and women, to focus on sex.  If, as many have done during discussions this week, we accept society's premise that we should focus on sex, we forget that there are alternatives.  What a difference we could make if we could turn to society and say that, in the words of Dr. Daniel Bell, there are things in this world which are more interesting than sex.

Whatever your opinions might be concerning this week's hot-button issues, I ask that you remember the families who are grieving the deaths of their children or the wounding of their family members.  I also invite you to study the emphasis which society places on sex and how we can offer the people around us an alternative upon which they can focus.

Lord, we ask for your continued presence with those who grieve the death of a loved one.  We ask for your healing to come to those who were wounded and continue to recover.  We ask for your peace as you receive those who have died.  Finally, we ask for your guidance as we participate in many difficult conversations and discern how we can care for others so that future attacks can be thwarted before they occur.  We ask these things in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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