I'll be honest. I struggled with whether or not to write about yesterday's dual tragedies – El Paso and Dayton. No, the struggle wasn't about the shootings themselves; they were definitely tragic events. My struggle was with the response. The President condemned the attacks as cowardice. Democratic candidates said it was Trump's fault – check the headlines (CNN, FOX News, MSNBC).
Politicians politic; it's who they are. It's what they do. For a politician, everything from the tragic shootings yesterday to the choice of paint color on a small town's handicapped parking signs is political. A politician can make a birthday a political event. A funeral is a captive audience.
A tragedy is a chance to be heard.
I don't blame the politician for politicking any more than I blame the snake for biting, the bee for stinging, or the preacher for preaching. It's who they are. It's what they do.
Nor do I blame the atheist or the Muslim, the Jew or the Satanist. I don't blame the Senate, the House, or any lawmaker for failing to pass common sense gun legislation. I don't blame the politician who coined the misleading phrase "common sense gun legislation." And I don't blame Armalite, Smith and Wesson, Bushmaster, Federal, Winchester, or any other maker of rifles and ammunition.
As a matter of fact, I don't blame anyone. That's not my responsibility. That's not my position here on Earth. Instead, I pray.
I pray for the shooter. I pray for Godly intervention. Without intervention his eternity looks bleak.
I pray for the families of those killed. To survive the tragic loss of a loved one challenges one's faith in God and their basic sense of humanity. It can lead to anger, resentment, even hate and sin. Through the loving embrace of God's Kingdom they can grieve safely and find a new normal, content even in the wake of tragedy.
I pray for the officers and the medical staff, the investigators and the caregivers who will face the brunt of victims' anger; victims asking, "why," and, "how could you," with no good answers. The sheepdog stands between the wolf and the flock – he is misunderstood by the flock and hated by the wolf. The sheepdog needs God's hand to start every day renewed and end every day drained but fulfilled.
And I pray for you.
"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people...Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing." (1 Tim 2:1-6 & 8, NIV)
– Mark Klages is an influential contributor, a former US Marine and a lifelong teacher who focuses on applying a Christian worldview to everyday events. Mark blogs at https://maklagesl3.wixsite.com/website under the title "God Provides where Hate Divides," with a heart to heal social, political, relational, and intellectual wounds through God's divine love and grace. Mark can also be found on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-klages-04b42511/.