Speaking up in the Messy

The next post I had planned to write was sharing all the wonderful insights from my experience in NYC at #VoxCon.  There’s so much to process and it takes time.

My biggest takeaway from that event was to “Keep writing and speak up…especially in the messy.”

Today was already a unique day. This is the first time I can remember that both Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday have fallen on the same day. It’s a powerful expression of love on display.

A friend posted a sad status on Facebook and I knew right away that I needed to check the news.

Not again.

My heart immediately sunk.

The live stream of the news plays in the background as I sit in my office and pray.

The reporters says, “17 incidents of guns going off in schools in 2018.”

We are only halfway through February.

“9 of those incidents resulted in injuries or death.”

“300 school shootings since 2013 (That’s almost one a week)” 

That doesn’t even include Columbine or Sandy Hook, and so many more which can be named, because so many lives have been impacted.

I don’t really know what to say. I feel like I’ve said said it before. I feel like other people have said it too.

“This is a consequence of our inaction.” – Senator Chris Murphy

Thoughts and prayers don’t seem like enough. Now, don’t hear me wrong. I know that God hears our prayers. I know that God is present.

But it’s unlikely that we will really ever know the answer to the question, “Why?”
It’s not a question for us to answer, as difficult as that is to swallow.

What can I do? I want to do more.  I know so many more people want to, too.

What can we do, because surely it would be easier to work together.

Let’s pray for the families of the victims.
Let’s pray for those students who will have PTSD for the rest of their lives.
Let’s pray for the medical teams impacted by the victims they are trying to save and those they could not save.
Let’s pray for the police who took action and captured the shooter.
And let’s pray that God would move us to action. Let’s pray that God would give us guidance to know what to do next.

I hope I will be moved to action. I hope that you will be moved to act as well.

The words from one of today’s Scripture readings resonate with me in the midst of trying to speak up in the messy, even without any answers.

“‘Even now,’ declares the Lord,
    ‘return to me with all your heart,
    with fasting and weeping and mourning.’
Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
Who knows? He may turn and relent
and leave behind a blessing—” – Joel 2:12-14a

May our hearts be torn to pieces, may our hands reach out, may our eyes be turned to Jesus.

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