As most of you have already heard, yesterday during Sunday service at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Texas, a gunman walked in and shot down 26 people, leaving many others in critical condition.

When I heard the news yesterday morning, my heart sunk.  Where do we go from here? 

Like being hit in the chest with a boulder, I went from fairly optimistic to down right sad raising my hands in defeat and critically wondering if we can ever come out of this tragic culture.

Shaking my head I just can’t seem to throw this one off.  It’s attached.

First to the families – there’s no answer for this.  There isn’t a place to say “God works all things for good”  – not here.  This is unimaginable to me.  The idea we can live in a world where even the sanctuaries of peace are under attack is simply put – abhorrent.

I’ve listened to the people on the television this morning talk about their faith, and their assurance in God, and I just want to scream.  This is as sad a place in life, and it’s ok to take a moment and look up in the sky and ask Why?

Faith without recognizing pain isn’t faith.  It’s downright dishonest.  And if this is something for the news viewers to see that people love God – I get it.  But it’s not helping the mothers, the fathers, the brothers, the sisters, the victims families come to a place of reality. It’s only creating distance.  Because, what if I feel doubt?  What if I don’t have the words or the strength to say God is in control in this moment?

I’m so sorry for the pain you’re feeling.  This is just  – I don’t have any words.  And this is plainly evil at its core.

Second to those responding – I can’t imagine what it’s like to walk into a church and see devastation like this.  For a brief time in my college career, I worked as an EMS ambulance driver.  I saw some pretty awful scenes of injury and death, but nothing like this must be.  To you all:  thank you for your service and your commitment to community.

Third to all policy makers:  – This has got to raise the radar to Defcon 4.  Whether it’s gun control or mental illness, when will we recognize we have a problem?  It hasn’t been a month since the slaying in Las Vegas, and here we are again.  Politicians trying to make sense of freedom for guns, or mental health officials calling for more money to treat illness, when will we wake up and demand help here?

It’s easy to lean in on constitutional rights, but what happens when Constitutional rights give people a pass for these mass murders?  Is it time to have a level headed discussion on what can be done to protect the citizens of this country from themselves?  (and this isn’t a political statement, it’s just common sense here.)

I have to wear a seatbelt in my car or I get fined – because deaths in auto accidents are real.
I have to apply for permits to build on to my properties – because the building codes in my city are such to keep me from harming my family or future owners of any properties.
I have to pay attention to EPA rules to make sure I don’t harm the environment or those around me who breath clean air – because we all like clean air and don’t want to inhale carcinogenic toxins.

Isn’t there ANYTHING we can do here to take into consideration the people who are praying at the church?

Some will say:  Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

Ok, then what do we do as a civilization to curb this people killing people?  Have we come so far that the only thing we can do is sit back and watch as more and more innocent people die at the hands of whatever tool of destruction they choose to use?  Do we just have to concede the fact that mankind is evil, and because no one walked in your church this weekend you’re somehow blessed?

PLEASE – lower the love of guns for a minute and let’s see if we can do both.  Maybe we can love guns, and figure out a reformed way to keep guns from falling into the hands of those who wish to harm us.  We do it with other forms of weaponry.  I can’t own a tank.  I can’t have a nuclear bomb in my garage.  I can’t carry around a bazooka.  We can do this.

And to mental health – how in the world can we live in a country scared to death of calling someone a bad name, and we think we can address mental health issues?  Can we please get rid of the political correctness and begin to address this issue head on?

Just so we’re all on the same page here:

We live in a culture that is aggressively silent when a kindergarten is shot up and little kids lay in their own blood.  (Sandy Hook) We just move on to the next news cycle and forget quickly to hold on to our own rights while we sit on death’s door for others.

We live in a culture that is sensationalized by a sniper shooting from a top a hotel building into a crowded concert venue, (Las Vegas) but impotent when it comes to doing something to enact something to prevent it from the future.  Sure, we’ll put up metal detectors and try to enforce the gun laws on the books, but look what is happening around us.

And now, we’re subject to a mass murder INSIDE A CHURCH!!

I tend to be someone willing to give the benefit of the doubt and see the world in a half full manner, but this morning the weight of evil is present on my shoulders.  I can feel it in my chest, and I don’t know what to do with this.

So I’ll just do what I know to do in my own circle.  With the sphere of influence that is here on this blog feed, I’m just asking for US to come together in a way where we can be mindful of future tragedy.  Let’s stop looking the other way because we love our guns, or we love to be civil in our communication with others.  Let’s call this what it is, and PLEASE let’s stop the next one.  THIS IS EVIL!

My heart is heavy this morning.

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