Kevin’s Conversations: Mourn With Those Who Mourn
I have never been one who is good with finding words of comfort, or any words at all, for that matter, in the wake of tragedy. As an introvert who often finds it awkward to express feelings and emotion, things become even that much tougher when some terrible happening is involved. I’ve always been better at putting my thoughts into written word, but even that has its limits.
And so, as I reflect on the wretched occurrence in Las Vegas, I wish I had some wise or consoling words of significance, but I find myself coming up short. I will leave the undertaking of sharing meaningful written thoughts of care and comfort and wisdom to those who are better equipped, as they would do a much better job. That does not mean that my heart doesn’t grieve for those who have been afflicted by this tragedy and wish that I could do or say something to make things better. But God bless those who are gifted with speaking words of wisdom and consolation in such horrible circumstances.
As I awoke Monday morning to the upsetting news of the shooting in Las Vegas, it only took to my lunchtime perusal of Facebook to see the political arguments flying. Arguments by those who just can’t believe we allow for such horrific events in our country due to our lack of substantial gun laws and arguments by those who say that guns are unfairly blamed and that greater restrictions will only prevent more of the good people from being able to stop or constrain other violent happenings, and that the bad guys will kill no matter what the laws. Soon enough there were arguments about everything that could conceivably be connected to the shooting. And my heart was saddened even more.
These are major issues that need real attention in finding solutions that limit these kinds of terrible incidents the best that we can. They need serious time, discussion, and action. Yet, just like the NFL protests or the hurricane destruction in Puerto Rico or many other recent issues, a difficult circumstance like this invokes knee-jerk reactions to hastily fortify political positions and to attack the other side which is most definitely in the wrong.
Where has our capacity to first mourn and grieve and give comfort gone? While it is still there to some degree, seemingly our culture grows increasingly prone to hurriedly grab political weapons in the occurrence of any catastrophe and to promptly place our focus on political battle. For more and more, we seemingly no longer need to cry out, “Why?!?!”……. because we know why……. it’s those idiot ingrates on the other side of the political aisle who are responsible for this. Feelings of anger in response to such evil is quite understandable, but our handling of those angry feelings may not always be constructive or beneficial.
My own shortcomings cause me to struggle to come up with words to express my grieving and mourning and ability to share comfort or insight with others. Then because of those struggles, I come to desire even less so to share as knowing it will be clumsy and difficult, causing me to become even more recluse. Whether relating to a big national tragedy or a much smaller personal offense, the whole thing begins to snowball.
I believe we are seeing the snowballing effect in our country in a different sense as it relates to our political division. Everything needs to be a fight nowadays, sadly even so in immediate reaction to tragic events. We are losing the ability to collectively mourn and grieve and share condolences and also the ability to respectfully dialogue about our differences. We are not all the way lost, but the trend is not good……. the snowball is growing.
May God give us the encouragement and capability to reverse this trend. Despite our own shortfalls in acting on the grace and mercies God has bestowed upon us, may God still use us to give some sense of care and comfort to those who have been affected by this horrid shooting in Las Vegas.