Some days I really am bothered by the changes that God seems intent on making in my way of seeing. It is uncomfortable to say the least.
How so? Recently I posted on my FB a comment about the cost of the death penalty — not just in dollars but in other ways. One affirming respons. Good. And then came one tearful, pained, angry response from a friend who has had 2 family members murdered and is all for the death penalty. This response led to a series of posts, with both of us digging deep. I in no way seek to minimize the pain. I mean no disrespect. I hope she knows that I will stand with her in the pain. I cannot change my stance. Really uncomfortable.
And then yesterday I read about the stupid, senseless shootings in Arizona. Six people dead including a 9 years and a federal judge, and a sitting congresswoman shot in the head. My first reaction was almost nausea. I lit a candle on the TrueMajority website. I wrote a note. I read the AP article. I found myself praying not only for the victims and their families, but also for the young man who committed these heinous acts – praying for a healing of the hurt in him, and in others who are like him — healing before something similar and equally as painful and appalling happens again. I suspect that admission is not going to win me friends and help me influence people.
But, God has not yet met with 100% success. I still harbor anger toward those who foster hateful and divisive rhetoric to advance their politics (not just the real fringies, but the T-Party and way too many Republican politicians, and Ms. Palin, just to name a few.) These are the same folks who cry out for respect for officials while fostering campaigns that encourage folks to “take aim” at others, and do so with visualizations such as gun sights. I’m still having trouble praying for those folks… even though I suppose that come under that umbrella of healing things before another tragedy occurs.
Today’s 2nd reading at mass, reminds us that God is discriminates far less than we do… it reminds us that Jesus, after His baptism, when about healing ALL those oppressed by the devil… if He did that, then, I suppose I must be open to praying for those who perpetuate these senseless crimes and those who perpetuate the attitudes that encourage others to carry out these acts.
Note: the reading is from Acts of the Apostles 10:34-38.
Peter proceeded to speak and said: Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him. You know the word (that) he sent to the Israelites as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all, what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.