THE DAY AFTER
It’s the next day. I understand it less today than yesterday. What I hear in this loss is anger. I hear frustration. I hear confusion. I hear chaos. I also hear hope. Hope for something better. In the hope for something better, I also hear anger, frustration, and confusion.
WHAT & WHYYesterday was tragic, I simply don’t understand it. All I know at this point is a young man took the lives of others and injured even more. His life was taken. As a result, not only were lives stolen, but a community, a state, and nation was effected. This morning, the morning after, the question of “Why?” still remains.
The path to understanding why this happened is likely to be a path or a way to move forward as a society, a nation, a state, a community, families and even as individuals. At a base level, anger originates at what “it” did to us and to others. There is likely anger because we can’t resolve it with the one who hurt us. There is no true resolution with the one who took the lives of those in Uvalde. Someone hurt us and we are angry. To further complicate matters, we might have been angry even before the day started yesterday. This is where we find ourselves, our “what” and our “why”.
Anger can be poisonous. Proverbs 15, among others, paints a dangerous picture of anger. It leads to bad decisions and destruction.
‘ A quick-tempered person stirs up dissension, but one who is slow to anger calms a quarrel.’ Proverbs 15:18
Frederick Buechner likens anger to a feast fit for a king, only the amazing meal turns out to be you. In the end, nothing is left except the skeleton of yourself. I imagine this is the point in which you begin to look for other meals. When our anger gets the best of us and we don’t deal with it appropriately, what happens? When anger and hurt consume us, it breaks us and turns to others.
Yesterday, I happened upon a tragic multi-vehicle accident. One of the passengers was significantly injured with multiple broken bones. After surgery last night, she woke up feeling the pain of the breaks. Her healing process will require more than the initial setting of bones. Without this work and series of procedures, the pain will remain and create problems moving forward.
Likewise, when we are hurt and broken, we remain in pain and experience problems until we heal. Until we heal, anything can be the target of our response to pain…and anyone. Uvalde has broken everyone, in one way or another. It has opened new wounds or reopened old wounds. People hurt. People are angry. People are confused.
We will remain broken until we have been put back together again. This healing task is as challenging as it is simple. We ask for help. We own our part. We begin the process.
Do we realize or recognize that we are hurt or simply respond to the occurrence of pain? Old injuries sneak up on us, and we don’t think about them until they show up. The Good News is we have direct access to The Great Physician.
‘ Then he came down with them and stood on a level place. And a large number of his disciples had gathered along with a vast multitude from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon. They came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases, and those who suffered from unclean spirits were cured. ‘ Luke 6:17-18
Christ seeks us out, meet us, and transforms us, all of us, because of who we are and Who He Is. Great crowds assembled to encounter Christ, to be changed by him, to experience Him as who He was and is. He sought out the broken and transformed them. The Blind, the Lame and the Diseased. They were cured by Christ, by the encounter. Those with broken spirits and possessed, renewed by the encounter. The woman at the well and the woman caught in adultery, restored by the encounter. Faith made the encounter possible. Grace, the power of God through Christ, changed and transformed them, and does the same for us. The Great Physician renewed and restored the broken. Truly encounter Him, not focusing on one shard of truth or brush stroke of experience, but the totality of Who He Is.