The Next Shooting

I started this post some time ago (2 years). I hope it is completely irrelevant.

Gun violence isn’t a left or right issue. It isn’t even a law versus more laws issue.

There is more evidence all the time of a deep sickness at the core of American society in these shootings in Columbine, CO, Atlanta, GA, Newtown, CT,  Lancaster, PA and too many others to mention. There will be yet another indiscriminate shooting by a young man, heavily armed and taking lives without compunction or remorse. An angry, entitled, bitter and hopeless young man will do what most of us think is unthinkable. Unfortunately, within days people on the right and left of the political spectrum will start to unpack the events for their own political agendas.

This is not a right or left problem. This is a spiritual problem. Our nation is sick at its core. We need the people of God not to rise up in political action but to bow down on their knees in repentance and faith and seek the face of the Living God for healing of the nation’s soul.

Pray for the families who lost loved ones in these heinous acts; pray for the people who have been traumatized by the events; but pray too for the nation, starting with Christians, to turn their hearts toward God. This is happening on our watch. Just the other day I was in a room with five other seasoned saints. A sixth person was joining us for prayer by phone. At one point we were praising God for the birth of new baby boy to one of the young couples in the church. 

One person in our group remarked in their prayer for the world that this baby boy would grow up in a world quite different from the world that most of us in the room grew up, and so we prayed for mercy and protection. Their prayer made me think about the ages of the people praying, myself, my wife, another older couple, a widower in his 80’s, another believer a little older than myself. This thought:

“There is a good chance that everyone praying in this meeting will be with Jesus before this young boy reaches the age of 18. The year 2036 is very close.”

How will we shape the world we give to our children and grandchildren? That is always the question for every generation. But last week, three fresh shootings of teens in my town (Rock Hill, SC) underscored the need to live well and make a difference in the years I might have remaining to me. I hope that this post is completely irrelevant. But my fear is that until the nation begins to spend its days on it knees in repentance for what is happening, it will happen again and then again, and again — until we do. 

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