I awoke to news of yet another mass shooting.
And again with the title worst in recent history as if each mass shooting has to outdo the last.
Unlike the Boston Marathon bombing, I’m miles and time zones and and even basic interests away from Las Vegas and country music.
My spirit is heavy and my heart is hurting and I cannot listen to the radio and I cannot turn on the TV and I desperately count down the minutes until I hear the pistons of the school bus make its stop at the end of my street because this morning my big girls bickered before 7am and left the house unhappy, and left me and John tired and annoyed and frustrated by yet another small fight before 7am.
I checked in with the handful of friends I know who may have been in or near the tragedy and all have been marked safe.
I scrolled through endless updates that sound so much like the endless updates of the last time this happened.
The last time this happened.
Because this is becoming normal in my adult life. News of mass shootings by crazy people who live in my country.
And I usually put politics and faith and feminism and money and all those other polarizing conversations on the back burner in light of the fact that I entertain a rather diverse set of friends and acquaintances.
So I’ve never hid the fact that I’m a Christian and when it comes up in conversation I’m not terrible at explaining to someone who cares, why I believe what I believe.
But I never write about it in my blog.
And I never post religiously themed Facebook updates.
I realize that the last several conversations I’ve had about church have largely included the fact that I’m up late, again, the night before I must be at church early for coffee duty, a neighborhood joke that somehow has not yet ceased to get old.
Or maybe it has.
But today I’m writing about something I never write about, and then I’m going to freak out for a few hours about hitting “publish” and then I’m probably going to put my computer all the way away and think about how my message is received and worry about the fact that I wrote it and how I said it and what everyone thinks.
I know I frequently project an attitude that I neither think about, nor care about what others think of me, but the truth is I’m exactly as human and exactly as female as the rest of them.
Here’s the thing.
Another crazy-psycho-evil-human went on a crazy-psycho-evil-rampage last night, and altered individual lives, as well as history, forever.
And though I have, so far, no direct connection to anyone affected, my day and my week have also been altered. Because I’m human. And I have a soul.
Many people today will soapbox gun reform.
Others will question the God I believe in, and why He allows bad things to happen to good people.
Many people will send “positive thoughts” out to the universe in a gesture of goodwill, positivity, and the message of love trumping hate.
And many people (some who have never claimed any sense of religious faith), will recirculate a message of prayer, for Vegas, for those affected, for those connected.
I do believe that love trumps hate.
I do believe in the power of prayer.
I do believe in an all-powerful and holy and good God who does not cause these things to happen, nor is He ambivalently looking down on his creation when they do happen, and doing nothing.
But here’s the rest of my sense of truth, and the part I’m always most afraid to talk about and write about. The part where half of my friends on Facebook stop reading. The part where many people who thought they knew me maybe get annoyed.
I also believe there is evil in the world and for me, it’s name is Satan. And bad things happen to good people because (I believe) Satan is alive and well on this planet we call Earth.
And, I’m sorry, but I believe there is no amount of positive thinking that is going to stop Satan.
Many people seek truth in times of tragedy and all too often, I shy away from dropping my truth bombs, because they are extreme, they are most definitely exclusive, and I don’t want to be lumped into the group of Christians that everyone loves to hate.
When it comes to good and evil, I believe in exactly two sides, and only two sides. I do not believe in a safe neutral middle ground.
If you are feeling hopeless, as is becoming all too common of a national sentiment these days, I actually believe there is Hope.
If you are wondering what will fix this shit planet we’re all trying to share, I believe the solution is already available.
If you ask me to pray for you, I hope you are ready for a miracle. Because what most of you don’t know is that when I pray, I actually believe that miracles will happen. And then, often, they do. And they don’t usually look like the thing all of us humans were looking for.
Call me a freak, but whether you subscribe to my faith or not, if you really looked inside yourself, I know you cannot deny that there is a spiritual something that is part of you. Maybe it is a part of you that you’ve been missing for a while. Maybe it is part of you that seems at odds with every other part of you. Maybe it is just a compulsion to do good when the world seems to keep overflowing with evil.
Because. We are souls. We are not bodies. We are souls.
And I believe we were created for an intimate connection with our Creator.
I have an intimate connection with my Creator. It doesn’t mean my life is perfect, and it doesn’t mean I am fearless, and you know it certainly doesn’t mean I am sinless.
But I’m not also not going to concede that the answer for evil is a general sense of good.
I really do believe there is only One answer.
You are allowed to disagree with me, and weirdly, hah, I can still be friends with you. I merely hope this doesn’t put us at awkward odds.
And now I’m going to kiss my kids. And I’m going to kiss my husband. And I’m going to do good because it feels good and it is the right thing to do.
But I’m also going to pray in such a way and on a level that many people never seek.
And I’m going to expect miracles.