Hall, Patricia

Patricia Hall.

Again our people cry out for answers to “why?” Again we look for comfort, and many can find none. Oh Lord, we are sick, and many of us are despairing for the country which we love and which we see falling into an abyss of violence and death from people using guns and trucks and bombs.

Our souls are blighted by the culture around us. We go to the movies and see violence made to look exciting, heroic even. There is nothing degrading that isn't depicted from violence to sexual sickness, and the critics call it “pushing the envelope.” Our music is thumping and throbbing until our nerves are made numb and our eardrums shattered, and many call it “a great beat,” or a valuable cultural expression.

How do we speak to our children about death on a Sunday morning in God’s own house?  There are no answers to keep them from being frightened. There are no answers to make it less horrific than it is. Sometimes our children are forced to know and understand far more than we want them to, and heavens, the same is true for us.  Which one of us wants to know that 26 worshipers are killed in a small Texas town in a little country church that preaches about God’s love?

As a believer, it is only that love which enables me to get up on this mournful Monday morning and do the mundane things, such as taking care of my family.

I say to any who will listen that we are all God’s children and He loves us. Each person has dignity and worth. You are not a mass of cells with no soul. You were made for a purpose.

Meaninglessness is crushing and leads to people living empty lives who would not flinch at gunning down children or pregnant women sitting in a pew in a small church anywhere.

Yes, sadness is heaped upon us today, and we all want to know WHY? We may find any number of reasons for the hatred in unraveling the life of that killer, but the bedrock reason is found in Jeremiah 17:9 of the Bible. "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick; who can know it?"

Our beloved country is sick, and as Alan Paton wrote of his Africa in the time of apartheid, “We are weeping and will weep until our hearts are no longer sick and we have found healing in our land.”

Only God can comfort us and bring that balm that soothes us, and that can only be done one heart at a time. Do not look to your neighbor but look inside at our own sin sickness and ask God’s forgiveness.