Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Tragedy, stark, ugly, bleeding tragedy once more in the United States of America.  In this country...a land where we relish diversity, celebrate tolerance, and do our best to love our neighbor, (at least that is the country I wish to believe we are), somebody was outraged by seeing somebody kissing in public.  Two males kissing.  He was with his children when this event occurred.  For some reason he felt that this gave him the duty to take a machine gun and shoot fifty people...fifty STRANGERS that he didn't even know!

I have gone with homosexual friends to a bar.  I'm heterosexual, and I do not drink alcohol.  However, I have dear friends that are homosexual and do drink alcohol.  I have gone with them to dance, talk, and giggle.  Imagine yourself in that setting.  A man comes through the door with a machine gun and begins to randomly shoot people.  Would it matter to him that you weren't homosexual?  

In his confused, troubled world when there is something that offends you, "Pluck it out," as it says in the Old Testament.  I do not believe that you were intended to pluck that offense out with a machine gun!  I do not believe that without any process of law whatsoever (remember it was called the Mosaic LAW)? you felt that you were invested by God, or hatred, or outrage, or whatever justification that you could find to kill people. 

Unfortunately, throughout the history of the world, many, many people have lost their lives because someone else stood in judgment of the choices of someone else.  The Salem Witch Trials, the Inquisition, and more recently ISIS, all were involved with somebody thinking that they had the moral right to end the lives or those whose choices they disagreed with.

I have fought long, and hard, to preserve my life on this planet.  I was born with very little immune system, and severe, severe allergies.  I am basically allergic to every substance on this planet.  When I was born the only solution for asthma was to give oxygen, pray, and hope that you survived.  Asthma was more terminal than chronic.

Then there were ten car accidents (I'm a very safe driver, but have poor taste in the people I ride with), breast cancer, and a number of other close calls to death.  Through it all there were also joyous times, family, friends, music, more music, and my greatest strength, my belief in a loving God. 

Life is VERY precious to me.  There were thousands of nights in my life between birth to twenty when I would be awake for most of the night because I could not breathe.  Your body will not allow to sleep much when you are not breathing well.  Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is usually caused by a number of factors other than asthma, or pulmonary disease.  It is rare for your body to allow you to stay asleep when you are NOT breathing. 

On those rugged, ragged nights when I had struggled through the dark hours to dawn my Mama and sometimes my Papa would be with me.  They would do their best to make the bad situation better.  I remember Mama often saying to me, "Honey the birdies are singing.  We've made it through another night.  Somehow the approach of light, and living, usually helped my body to relax, my airways to open.

When your life is threatened again, again, and still again, you may either become extremely bitter, or you may learn to see miracles in tender moments throughout the everydayness of life.  I choose the later.  I still feel my Mama close to me (she's been dead for several years) when I hear the birdies sing early in the morning.  The sparkle of starlight nights, and moon filled sky fill me with joyous wonder.

To think that fifty people, FIFTY PEOPLE WHO HAD NEVER DONE ANYTHING TO THIS MAN, lost their chances to learn, love, and live this life to the best of their abilities because one disturbed man decided it was his job to kill them?  That is completely unbearable to me.  I have no doubt that when those people arrived in the spiritual realm they were TICKED! 

What comforts me is my rock firm knowledge that it will be made right.  I believe that there is an eternity, and we are eternal creatures, and it WILL BE MADE RIGHT!  I would not want to be that man when those fifty enraged people, or broken hearted people have the chance to tell that man what he has done, what he has denied them all.

I feel anguish for those that are left behind...those that will NEVER see their loved one's face, hear their voice, or share life with them again.  I lost my sweetheart when he was only fifty-four.  He died from multiple causes that triggered sepsis.  I have gone through the heartbreak of knowing that I have a life to live, WITHOUT HIM!  Sometimes the grief almost overwhelms me.  Yet I know that the love we shared will give me light to live my life by.

I pray for all those broken hearts that are grieving!  On the other hand, having a gun in your briefcase or purse is NOT the answer!  The last thing that we need to do as a country is to become like the colonial days of our country, or the wild west when everyone needed a gun for protection.  They mostly used those guns to protect them from bears, or to hunt for food for their families.  They NEVER used machine guns.

We in this country like to think that we are a civilized society.  There is nothing civilized in people who are mentally unstable being able to procure guns...especially machine guns!  I hear about the 2nd amendment  in the constitution until I become weary.  I feel that if we are meant to live the exact constitution as it was instituted originally we must be true to all of its ideas.  That means that we must take away women's right to vote and own property, and while we're at it, slavery could be nice, I mean come on, having somebody else to do all your work?  (That statement was sarcastic in case you missed it).

What can we do?  Is it hopeless?  Should we all just decide that the Apocalypse has arrived and climb in a well equipped bunker?  EMPHATICALLY NO!!!  We can enact better background searches before guns are issued.  We can make stricter laws about the use of guns.  If our country will have guns then they must learn safe use.  We teach our children responsible methods to drive cars, why couldn't we teach our citizens safer ways to use guns? 

I believe that we must educate our children about this issue.  We must teach them love, love, love, love, love.  We must explain the consequence of hatred, prejudice, and intolerance.  Perhaps instead of sending our children to other countries to study and learn about the culture of others, we could send our kids to homes where loved ones have been lost to hatred and intolerance.  I don't think that we should now learn to ignore the cultures of other lands, on the other hand, we MUST learn a better way to live in our own culture.  We must teach the next generation a better way to live than to kill and hate!

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