As I thought about the topic for this week’s blog post, I couldn’t get my mind off of the heartbreaking events that have been happening in our country. Too many lives have been lost, and too many others fear for their lives. Too many people are grieving because they have lost love ones or because they have seen the horror experienced by someone similar to them or by someone they respect.
There have been many arguments on social media that this or that group is behind tragic events. I believe some (though certainly not all) of these arguments arise out of a desire to see justice, and justice requires that someone experience the blame, whether or not they deserve it.
It seems that some people are responding by dealing with grief in different ways. Some people acknowledge and feel the heartbreak of the tragedies they see. They long to put a stop to needless violence and feel their inability to control it.
Others deal with the grief facing our nation by trying to rationalize it by suggesting solutions or placing blame on policies or people. They don’t intend to be hurtful, but when the ones who are longing to put a stop to the violence hear them, they sound cruel and unsympathetic.
Obviously, these scenarios do not characterize everyone, but in reading and watching reactions, they seem to describe some of what is happening.
No matter how we deal with the grief and division that is occurring in our nation, it is important that we do not create stereotypes and blame innocent people. Yes, there are some police officers who abuse their power, but there are many more that go above and beyond to fulfill their duty to serve and protect. They are the ones we want to call when we feel threatened. We need them to prevent utter chaos. There are also good and bad people of all races. We cannot make assumptions about someone because of their race. For everyone of any race that causes trouble, there are many more who are kind, loving, hard-working citizens.
When we watch the media, we need to remember that the stories that we see are extreme cases. Tragedies make the news because they are not common occurrences. Individuals who treat people cruelly are featured in the news because they are not the norm.
My heart breaks for our nation. It is both easy and difficult to say that God is in control of such situations. On the one hand, it brings about questions as to why he allows evil to happen, and on the other hand it seems like the easy thing to say when people are grieving. In reality, it is still true, and God can and does turn around the intended evil of tragic situations to bring about something good just as He did when He sent Jesus to die a cruel death to give us life and freedom.
Let’s continue to pray for those who were most closely affected by recent tragedies and for our nation that is in desperate need of comfort, healing, and wisdom. Let’s pray also for peace and healing for our law enforcement officers, the Black community, those still grieving in Orlando, and other victims and families of needless tragedies throughout the world.