My husband says that even though I know people are never going to do the right thing, I still expect people to do the right thing. I hold high standards. Sometimes those standards aren’t really fair because I form the ideas of what I want people to be based on what will make ME happy and make MY life easier.
That’s not what this is. If you don’t believe in God and you don’t believe in Jesus as teacher and Messiah, this isn’t for you. You can read for perspective, and I invite you to do so eagerly, but when I say “you” for the remainder of this post, it’s for Christians. It’s for you, Christians. It’s for you that I know and that I see online and for strangers.
I’ve held my tongue.
I grew up in gun culture. Hunting is so normal and everyone, including my family, has a bunch of guns. It’s not unsafe, per se. Everyone I know is responsible with their guns and use them for hunting and we eat the meat and hang deer antlers on the wall. I really don’t find this out of the ordinary, though I realize some of you do.
So, believe me when I say that I understand. I understand why you feel like you should be able to own a gun and, in a perfect world, I think you should be able to own a gun.
This is not a perfect world. There are mass murders occurring and we are talking politics. I can’t believe we are talking politics. I can’t believe we are finger pointing and blaming individual things.
I’m exhausted!! It’s the same exact thing every time yet another shooting occurs. The same rhetoric, the same arguments, the same silence after a few days. The same prayers, the same refusal to do ANYTHING.
We can hope and we can pray that everything will work out fine, but you can’t just stay down on your knees; the revolution is outside. (thanks paramore)
If there’s anything I’ve learned about prayer during my everlasting struggle with believing in its power, it’s that prayer is not a still experience. Sometimes things are out of our hands and Jesus groans with us and takes it on himself. Okay? Sometimes we can pray and then we can ACT and be the hands and feet that we are supposed to be. Sometimes we can have enough faith that God is going to follow through with what we are asking and we can take STEPS of faith in action. If you are praying biblical centered prayers, you’re going to receive what you ask for. Not in a Joel Osteen way, but in a real way.
We are not meant to be idle.
I am so angry with you and, I think, righteously so. You are HONESTLY so attached to your guns, you are willing to let children DIE. Not just die, but be blown apart by assault weapons. While they are at school. Adults too. You’re letting adults die. This doesn’t bother you. And you say “well, they would’ve found another way to do it.” Maybe. But they didn’t. They used guns.
This idolatrous attachment Americans have with weapons is CRAZY. If people can stop being
killed murdered by adopting laws other countries with fewer gun-related deaths have, shouldn’t that be an automatic duh for you?? I mean duh!! If our job is to tell others about Jesus, we are failing. Because they’re getting shot before we get the chance. If you think gun control won’t work, fine. But at least be willing to try it first.
And, hear me out, this is not the only step we need to take. It’s about the guns, but it’s not just about the guns. I mean, logical step one to me seems like not inventing these weapons in the first place, but I’m one of those crazy anti-war people, so this is too idealistic to be realistic. Anyway. There is not one correct political move to magically repair the damage done.
This is also about parenting, environments, healthcare, mental health, discipleship roles… It’s about a lot of things. And so many of you are pointing many of these things out. All of us are wrong and all of us are right. Being a person is hard. I mean REALLY hard. And this isn’t new. We just know more bad things now because of our advanced media technology. The millennials didn’t create gun violence, k? Problems…cough* sin…have existed since the beginning of time.
And since we know this, I just have some questions.
Where are you for people in your church suffering from mental illnesses?
Where are you for people in in general suffering from mental illnesses? Are you supporting getting them healthcare coverage? Are you supporting making sure they have the resources they need to deal with their issues properly?
Where are you for the fatherless children? Are you adopting them? Are you discipling them and making them a part of your family?
Where are you for the troubled youth? Same questions as above.
For all of your rebuttals to gun control, where are you and how are you actually contributing to a real solution?
Where are you for the sinners of the world? Are you being the hands and feet of Jesus? Or are you just pretending to be that on Facebook?
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. – 1 Corinthians 12. Individually, we were given spiritual gifts to take into the earthly world. Sure. Collectively, as the body of Christ, we aim to be made holy and be made in his image. To me, that means laying down life at the most. But at the very least? Lay down your guns.
Lent is the perfect season to let go of whatever you’re clinging to. Let it go. Let there be a void in you! Let it exist and let it ache and let it make you angry. And then fill it with Jesus. Okay?
And, finally. When you offer your prayers for the absolution of sin the world… Are you really praying?
I haven’t been. I really haven’t prayed faithfully in months. That’s why you’ll notice I haven’t written much lately. I haven’t mentioned my faith… at all.
You’ll remember my apathetic stages if you’ve known me for a while. Well, we’ve been in another one. And I can blame my job and I can blame New York City all I want, but it’s me. I’m rebellious and hate the idea of relying on someone and something else for comfort and goodness and fulfillment and rest.
A couple things have occurred in the last week that made me remember that time my friend was so pumped about fasting for the first time. It made me remember why I used to pray. Some things (holy spirit, that u?) nudged me into randomly telling my new coworker about my apathy and my coworker turning around and reminding me to be obedient and fill my void with Jesus. It made me remember why I am so passionate about writing the collision of faith and culture. Today, I tripped on the sidewalk and hurt myself, but mostly hurt my pride. And it made me remember that I am broken and needy.
I hope these things happen for you too and I hope and pray (really) that we, as the body of Christ, can come together in what unites us and show people that there is hope. I want that so badly now. I want violence to end and I want the American political system to just crash to the ground and rebuild without hurting anyone, but I’m just a dreamer. I know there will be peace one day. Joy and peace everlasting. Until then, I mourn. I will mourn and weep and pray during this season of Lent (that I am truly understanding and observing for the first time) that the world will see its brokenness and turn to the King and feel his grace and glory and beauty and wrath and goodness and righteousness and love. You too.
Let me take JUST a minute to respond to some thoughts I’ve seen because I’ve just got to. How I’d politically respond. Humor me.
- Violent video games are to blame. (I want to hear more solid evidence to support this exact claim, but I definitely don’t believe in violent videos games in general. Kids have better play options)
- All guns should be outlawed; no one should own guns. (This isn’t a realistic solution right now. Just get the big guns out and let hunters have their fun)
- How do civilians acquire powerful weapons like assault rifles? (Idk, this shouldn’t be a debate. Just get rid of em.)
- Parents aren’t raising their children correctly. (I mean, sure. Have no answer for this one.)
- Putting prayer back in schools will help. (It won’t. I said the pledge everyday and I dare you to call me a patriot. Going out on a limb and saying moments of silence in school won’t turn kids into religious non-gunmen?)
- You can’t take away my guns. It’s a constitutional right. (We outta stop treating the founding fathers as God, mmkay??!!! Same guys that didn’t let ya vote if you weren’t a white dude).
- Mental health isn’t taken seriously (true!) Put security guards in schools and arm teachers. (Would like to point out this is like putting a bandaid on a bullet wound… #cliche and #relevant).
Finally, it is both a heart problem and a gun problem. Doesn’t have to be either/or. Can be both. Is both.