Tired, Yet Amazed
I am tired.
I am tired of the Evangelicals who now say their prayers are with us. If they weren’t with us before, except in their pleas that we fundamentally change who we are, I don’t want them now. There are millions who truly feel the impact of this tragedy, who did not judge us before, and they do not judge us now. Their prayers are coveted.
I am tired of those Americans who are not losing sleep over the worst mass shooting in American history. Some of you feel removed from the tragedy because you think these victims are not like you. Well, the truth is they are not like you. They understand prejudice. They understand what it feels like to be ostracized for nothing more than being who you are.
I am tired of hearing all of the NRA activists spouting bullet points from their marketing department. Your words are being used for evil. When it is easier to buy an assault rifle than get on an airplane, we have a massive problem. What part of that do you not understand?
I am tired of politicians who will not do what they know to be right because they are terrified of the gun lobby. For God’s sake, grow some balls. If you can’t grow your own, you can have the ones I don’t use anymore. But do the right thing. Ban assault rifles and the ammunition clips that have no purpose other than to wreak havoc. Well, that and make the men feel better who apparently lack the body parts already referenced.
I am tired of Donald Trump not being held accountable for his hate-filled rhetoric. Do you really want his to be the public voice responding to tragedy? And I am weary of the Evangelicals who know good and well they are going to vote for Trump, but do not have the guts to publicly say they are going to vote for a narcissistic, misogynistic, bigoted, bully.
I am tired of all the people who can manage to build up some rage if they think this is an Islamic based terror attack, but have already moved on if it is “only a hate crime.”
I am tired of the people who create enemies where none exist, banish scapegoats whose only crime is to be different than those in power, and only believe in a God who craves power, a loving God having been found lacking.
I am tired of living in a nation in which the late night comics have better things to say in response to this tragedy than pastors and politicians.
But then come to think of it, I am also amazed.
I am amazed to live in a country in which Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert can speak spiritual truth with power. It’s amazing to live in a place in which Anderson Cooper can break down in tears and the cameras do not cut to a robotic anchor with no opinion on the matter.
It is amazing to attend a church in which our founding pastor can call for a minute of silence before his sermon begins, and you are paradoxically filled with profound sorrow and overwhelming pride, because you know from the tone of his voice and the power of his own story, that this is a man who knows suffering, and knows how to redeem it. And you know he will preach a sermon of stirring passion and love that replaces the stench of gunpowder with the sweet aroma of compassion.
It is amazing to hear the stories of 49 people who faced great trials, yet found a way to dance, because resilience had taken root in their hearts, hearts now welcomed into the arms of God.
I am amazed when I hear the words spoken and written by my own children, who preach love and acceptance, when they could be bitter and angry, because they have decided that when the tears have been shed and the sentences handed down, love still wins.
I am tired, but I am grateful to be alive in such a time as this, when I can join with other pilgrims on the fitful train of halting progress. I am grateful I can look unto the eastern skies, and know this world can be redeemed by a 2,000 year old metanarrative that still flows forth from a crucified scapegoat and those dreamers and visionaries who follow him.
And so it goes.