Monday, June 13, 2016

Look to the Helpers

Once again, there has been a mass shooting in our country, this time in Orlando, Florida.  Over fifty people are dead and more than that are wounded. 

Once again, people will pick out small pieces of this story to use as fuel to feed their discussions on guns, religion, politics, and mental health issues.  They’ll will pick sides and argue with red faces, clinched fists, and increasingly stupid memes on facebook.  This time, discussion will also center on the LGBTQ community—and further wounds will be inflicted by words.    

We sink into these arguments because we feel helpless. 

But we’re not helpless. 

Fred Rogers, an ordained Presbyterian minister as well as the star of “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,”
once said that we should look to the helpers that rush to give aid at times like this. They remind us that there is hope in the world. 

Think of the police who ran toward danger to render aid, the fire and rescue people, the paramedics and EMTs, the nurses, aids, and doctors.  Then there were the counselors and ministers to care for the grieving. People lined up for a mile to give blood. Family and neighbors called one another to say, “Are you ok? How can I help?”  Stories of heroism are already being told where people helped each other while they were under fire. And all over the nation people knelt in prayer for the sake of the victims.  All these people are examples of nobility, bravery, and generosity. 

Let’s not shy away from the images of the people who have been harmed.  Think of those who cowered in a crowded room while shots were fired. Think of those who died, were wounded, and those who are now in the throes of sudden grief.  Think of those who are still shaking because they feared their loved one might have been killed. And let’s resist arguing with each other. 

Instead, let’s go to work and offer our help.