Cadiz United Methodist Church
Monday, December 18, 2017
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
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Once Again

It has become an all too familiar event. Once again the news is a buzz with the tragic account of another attack leaving fifty people dead and over fifty injured. Lives have been lost and even more have been changed for ever. And just as in times past people have sought to answer the "why" question? Why does this keep happening? Why did this event happen in particular? Why can't we stop things like this from happening in the future? Along with that question comes the need for many to place ultimate blame on someone. Of course the individual or persons responsible for the shooting itself, but then there are lager groups of influence like ISIS, NRA, U.S. Government, LGBT community, Christians, Liberals, Conservatives, the media itself, and the list always grows. Perhaps it brings some closure if we can place the blame on certain groups. Perhaps it allows us to put a face on the evil that is behind such events. Perhaps it allows us to rest easier believing that we are certainly not to blame. I am not sure why we do this but we do.
We also tend to ascribe certain moral credit to amoral objects. We call guns evil, when in fact they are amoral. They have no morality, They are plastic and metal fashioned in such a way as to launch a projectile forward at great speed. Ultimately they rust or can be melted down and fashioned into a different object with no lasting or eternal value. No, pipe bombs, IED's, guns, rifles and the like are not evil. The evil we seek to identify exists within the heart and mind of humanity.
We all have the potential to display either great acts of kindness or evil at any given time in any given situation. Good does rise from the rubble of evil many times. When face with horrific acts of evil and innocent lives are lost there is always the immediate uprising of good. That was on display in Orlando. In the wake of the shooting hundreds if not thousands lined up to donate blood. Chic-Fil-A, a business known as being closed on Sundays opened their doors and supplied food for those donating blood. Prayers were lifted, people sprung into action to offer aid and support of the many victims. And for a brief moment, before the fingers started being pointed and blame assigned the goodness of humanity rose up to meet that need once again. Of course before the dust settled the various groups and organizations began finger pointing and verbal slandering. Once again we sought to answer the "why" question and pin point the evil responsible.
So, what do we do? What is a proper response to such events? Certainly prayer is always appropriate. Besides prayer, it would be good if we would take a moment to compose our thoughts and ideas before allowing our emotions to be on display via our words on social media. Be careful paining in wide verbal swaths. Process the media and know their brand of bias, and yes the media is bias. And above all, regardless of whether or not one agrees with certain lifestyle choices, remember that the loss of innocent lives is tragic. No one deserves to be gunned down in cold blood. Choose to be a person of peace in a time of turmoil and see what happens.
God Bless. 
Once Again

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