Like for many I’m sure, tears have been flowing in my house this week. I can’t get my head wrapped around the mental process of someone who would go to such violent extremes as did the shooter in Las Vegas. I can’t get my head wrapped around the fear that must have been experienced by those who ran for their lives, not knowing or understanding what was happening. And, I can’t get my head wrapped around why anyone needs a bump stock. And, really, what the hell that even is.
I went to the pink chapel this afternoon, seeking something. Peace. Inspiration. Answers. I’m not sure. As always, it was beautiful and I felt safe as I listened to the hum of traffic in the distance outside. The nuns were reciting their daily prayers. The sacred of the ordinary approaching Mystery. Feeling safe only made me think more about those who Sunday night also felt safe. Until they weren’t. Until they felt terror. Sitting in the chapel brought no answers. Only a sense that the stakes of love are high. And urgent.
So many lives interrupted. So much left undone. Conversations that will never occur. Words that will never be written. Goals that will never be achieved. Contributions that will never be made. Songs that will never be sung. What beautiful things might have happened in this world if each of them had lived. What will we all miss because of their deaths?
I guess my biggest question today is will this be THE wake up call? The one that makes the difference? Will I now wake up to all of the good but abandoned intentions in my own life? Will I tend to my unfinished business? Will I be courageous enough, and disciplined enough to finish the book, preach the sermon, lose the weight, reach out to the friend, speak up for those who can’t, get closer to God….whatever is left undone, will I have the will and follow through to completion? Will I be able to sustain this sense of urgency of the Present in the future?
What about as a nation. As a people of faith. As humanity. Will we actually do something this time? Will we even try? Or, are we too tired in our grief and our desire to regain our own illusion of safety to let ourselves risk the status quo? Will we have the courage to at least ask, hear, and talk about the questions? Will we stop making this an either or debate? Can we not have rights and sensible weapon guidelines at the same time? With all of the other things we have accomplished as a nation, can we not at least attempt to accomplish common ground? These aren’t statistics we are dealing with. These are people. People who loved and were loved. People who leave behind huge gaps. We are less than Whole without them. Can we really afford to lose any more?
Some say that it is too soon to ask some of the hard questions. Too political. I don’t know about that. People have died. For them, it is too late.
What will we do with our Now?
Something to chew on…and act on…