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Writer, Retreat Leader, Resource Creator
I’m going to say it:
I’m sick of praying.
God, I’m sick of praying after gun violence.
I’m sick of praying that this won’t happen again when I know it will.
Another parent will be grieving soon. Another community will be reeling.
Another school will wonder what it could have done to protect its students.
God, our prayers are not enough, because we fold our hands to tell You how sorry we are that this happened, then we wipe our hands on our pant legs and move on, because it’s not our problem. Either we complain about those who own guns and believe in gun rights, or we complain about those who only blame access to guns. We take sides and point fingers and say long speeches about how right our position is.
And another child is gunned down.
And still we do nothing.
God, I want to scream. I want to shout. I want You to stop it but I know it won’t stop until WE STOP IT.
God, call upon us to break open our hearts.
Call upon us to confess our sin of violence.
We glorify violence. We encourage kids to hit back if they are hit first. We don’t teach turning the other cheek because that makes us victims, so we believe, even though Jesus himself said it. Because we can’t let go. We can’t let go. We have to be right and the other has to be wrong. We can’t be the victim. We have to be the victor, otherwise we are weak.
And yet… You went to the cross.
You told Your disciples to put away their swords, that those who live by the sword
Die by the sword.
And we die by the sword, by the Almighty Gun, because we live by violence. We love violence. We worship violence. We leave flowers at the altar of violent acts. We believe that violence is greater than love.
It is not true.
IT IS NOT TRUE.
God, help us to trust, to believe, that it is not true.
For You are greater than hate, greater than violence.
You are Love. And Love must win.
And Love must call us to live in a new way.
Teach us to love.
Teach us to teach love.
Teach us to put away violence forever.
Peace is only going to work if we put away violence.
If we do it.
God, I don’t know what to pray.
I only know that the anguish is killing us.
We are killing ourselves.
Teach us a new way.
May we trust in the Resurrection that overcomes violence, even violent death,
and may the Resurrection happen now.
In all of us.