Less than two weeks after the tragedy in Buffalo a deranged individual killed 19 children and 2 teachers. Sadly this is nothing new.
Sandy Hook elementary, Virginia Tech, Las Vegas, El Paso Texas and the list goes on and on. There is a crisis in America and at its core it is a spiritual crisis. Yes, there is a mental health aspect and certainly a public safety component.
But since I have no training in those areas I will leave them to those better prepared to address those issues. One thing I do know about is that each of us has, as John Wesley defined it, a God shaped hole in us. A place where only God can satisfy our needs and fill that hole.
I also know that sin entered our world a long long time ago and that all of us are broken and in need of the healing and redemption that only Jesus Christ can offer. Because of that cross there can be grace, mercy, forgiveness, and a healing of our brokenness. But it is found only in Jesus Christ.
I am not naive enough to think that we don’t need effective policing and more mental health awareness and care, but I do believe that the church needs to wake up to what we can and should do in the wake of these tragedies.
Do we believe our message of redemption and healing through a life transforming relationship with Jesus or don’t we. If we do then why in the wake of all of this evidence of the brokenness of the human condition aren’t we more actively sharing this Jesus with others.
I don’t delude myself that we could stop all mass shootings, but I do know that when people are in a loving Christian community that they are in a place where they can reach out in their pain. They can lean on others in their struggles. And they can know the healing power of the Holy Spirit, through the love and prayers of others in that community.
Yes let’s work for better legislation, more effective policing, and to remove the stigma of seeking mental health help. But church remember, at each person’s core is a God shaped hole that needs to be filled if our brokenness is to be healed.