More people have been killed in gun violence in America. And what bothers me maybe the most about that is I barely noticed. I've become numb to it. It's become routine to see the news break stories of people getting shot in their schools, in their movie theaters, in their shopping malls. A friend of mine even told me that when he spoke with some of his European friends, they said they were absolutely sure that if they came to America they would see a shooting. And the sad thing is, we can't at this point reasonably tell them they're wrong. At this point, it could happen anywhere.
Now, I can see some of you already scrolling down to the comments section to leave me a nasty note about gun rights or something like that, but take a moment to set that aside. If you define a mass shooting as an event where 4 or more people were killed in a single event, and looked back all the way to the start of 2013, there hasn't been a single calendar week in which there hasn't been a mass shooting in our nation. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LAz3iLVZso, check the 5:34 mark). That's not an argument about guns. That's a cause worthy of lament.
What's more puzzling is that we are the only developed nation in the world for which this is true. This doesn't happen in Europe with nearly this frequency. This doesn't happen in Russia with nearly this frequency. This doesn't happen anywhere on the globe with nearly this frequency. So again, before we start pointing fingers and blaming political positions as the problem, can we all take a step back and realize that there actually is a problem? I think sometimes that gets lost in the yelling.
Our leaders are caught in this food fight over guns or mental illness or more armed security guards or whatever. And again, my hope is not to get caught in that food fight beyond begging our leaders to do something before it happens anywhere near my soon to be born children. Today though, all I can do is lament. It's a lost art form in the church today, looking towards the heavens and asking God why. Why is it that these innocent people had to give their lives? Why is it that if Christ has come to restore all things to himself we have to watch our friends and family and brothers and sisters killed senselessly at least once a week on the news? Why is it that God, who I confess and know to be powerful beyond my imagination hasn't stepped in and done something about this? Why are we still so broken? Why does this happen?
It doesn't look like I'm going to get answers any time soon. I may never get them. But in the meantime, I rest in the comfort that I worship a God who doesn't wag his finger at us, but rather stoops down beside us and mourns with us in our grief.
I just wish he didn't have to quite so often.