When tragedy strikes, we want answers. The finite being inside demands to know. Why? Why did this happen? What went wrong? Who is to blame? We want to know where to point the finger. Do we point fingers at government for lack of meaningful action and other verbose double-speak? Do we blame political structures which are not doing enough to fix societal woes? Is it because our political leadership is too lax with gun regulation and enforcing rules for those allowed to obtain gun permits?
Do we point the finger at the media for allowing us minute-by-minute coverage of carnage that even our worst nightmare is unable to conjure up? Do we blame them for the images that will never leave our minds? Are they part of the problem?
Do we blame the healthcare system for allowing patients to sign out of hospital care without ensuring proper follow-up treatment will come? Do we blame doctors? The psychiatrist? Psychologists? Nurses? The healthcare system as a whole?
Do we point fingers at the video-gaming sub-culture that derives pleasure from shooting and blowing heads off for relaxation and wind-down? Do we blame gun-enthusiasts? Do we blame the absence of information and education? Do we blame school boards for installing slack security systems? Or for installing none at all? Do we blame families for negligence when it concerns current parenting practices? Are parents to blame for their children’s actions?
Do we blame the perpetrator for being an evil form of low-life that did not deserve to walk the face of the earth? Were they persons of evil intent from birth? Was this their destiny- to kill and to maim?
Do we blame religion? Culture? The economy? Or do we stop blaming and do something about it?
It is time to stop blaming and act for the betterment of our fellow man and woman.
We must stop pointing fingers and fix what lies within our reach. Those things within our control. Within our means. We can influence those placed under our care. We can fight for those within our homes. They are within reach if they are inside our familial circle. We can ensure that we have well-laid plans in case of emergency and then back-up plans for when the first plans go awry. We can educate ourselves, our children, our friends. We can educate our extended families. We can go the extra mile to ensure that those within our care do not fall through the cracks. And when they do, those on the front lines- the teachers, the doctors and nurses, the social workers, the coaches, all these need to be aware that they are the next line of defense. We need a place, somewhere to fall softly. Our social system has good people placed within to live up to this standard. We must expect much from them so as to get much.
But we have to remember. We cannot solve the world’s problems. We cannot fix everything. We cannot bring about world peace, nor even for others a form of inner peace. It is not within our control, our scope. But we can look after the corner of the world that we’ve been given. And it is time to do so with a resolute and upright vengeance. We cannot lie fallow any longer. It is time to plant the seeds of open and honest communication within families, breaking down the barriers that keep us from understanding one another. And for those families of faith-driven households, it is time for much greater action than this. We who believe need to seek the face of God as we have never done before.
It must be remembered that this is a broken world we live in. It is a world that at times functions without vision, purpose and hope. A world which has all but abandoned the guiding principles that our nations were built upon which served to provide a moral compass, if nothing else. A world where prayer has become quaint and faith-guiding principles are laughed at. We have fallen hard in these past few difficult days, but there is light for those who seek the flame. There is hope for our brokenness, and it is that Hope we cling to when the bottom gives out and we find ourselves falling through the cracks. And when we have no answers and we are desperate for a place to turn, know that hope is found anew in the One who gave His life for ours. And although I personally don’t have the answers, I’ll cling to the One who does. And continue to trust that He will lead through every storm, every valley, every tumult I encounter on the way.
From here to eternity.