By Don Lindsey
Like the rest of the nation, I was shaken by the events of the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas on Friday. Every time something like this happens, which seems to be the norm these days, my heart breaks a little bit more for the way that society is deteriorating. I keep hoping that we as humans will see that political, religious, and other differences are keeping us from working together in stopping the kind of carnage that we are seeing far too often.
Unfortunately, every time a shooting occurs we seem to get more divided.
The baffling thing to me is that each side is correct in their opinions. We do have an issue with gun violence which needs to be addressed and we also have an issue with treating each other with respect and empathy while staying close to the rights that we have as Americans. However, we are so insistent on being right that we become angry at anyone who’s view opposes our own. Until we can all stand next to each other and work together to find common ground to end the type of massacres that we saw on Friday, they will keep happening and more of our children will pay the price for our inability to stand together.
As the news came in on Friday about the shooting, I was walking around the house preparing and packing for a trip that my daughter and I are on this weekend. We are in Fort Pierce looking after my wife’s grandmother while also getting some much-needed rest and relaxation. When I woke up this morning, I surfed around on my phone reading more about the events that happened in Santa Fe. At some point, I happened to look out of the window and saw the majestic scene of the ocean crashing onto the shore. After staring at the scene for awhile, I found my daughter and gave her a tight hug and then prayed to God, thanking him for my kids and asking him to be with the families that have been affected by all of these terrible acts of violence.
The last time I tackled a school shooting topic, I had a gentleman point out that prayers and well wishes don’t stop bullets and he was right, they don’t. However, the lack of empathy we have for one another and the need to attack folks that have opposite opinions from ours is keeping us from moving forward. It used to be that when a tragedy happened, the nation pulled together, but we are seeing less of that and more division. While praying is useless to some, it’s a form of empathy and shows love towards our fellow humans. You will hear some say that they are sending positive energy meaning that they don’t pray but have the victims on their minds and in their hearts. In my opinion, we need to see each other as equals even if they differ from us. We need that human factor to replace the anger and hate.
I’m not sure if that will happen although it is my biggest hope for our species. What I do know is that we are one of God’s greatest creations and can overcome any situation if we work together. The beauty that I saw in the ocean this morning also resides in us, we just need to tap into it. As this weekend moves on, I will be enjoying the beach, pool (weather permitting) and the chance to visit with my wife’s grandmother. It seems as if the world is falling apart, but if we look hard enough, we can see God’s influence in each other and in the scenery around us. I’m going to do my best to focus on that in the next couple of days and use my beach therapy time to remind me that all is not lost in the world. God bless and have a wonderful week.
Don Lindsey is a follower of Christ, son, husband, father, and a survivor. Originally from Dayton Ohio, and resident of Apopka for six years, Don sees his life as a dedication to his wife, parents, children, and community.