Enough is Enough.

Hello friends,

I've been following pretty closely this tragic shooting in Arizona all weekend. Goes without saying that my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, particularly Congresswoman Gifford. (Which, I don't know much about this sort of things, but it sounds to me as though if she's been shot in the head and has made it this far and is even responding to simple commands, we might be witnessing a miracle. Just a thought.)

To be honest, I actually had a fair amount of hope for the outcome of things earlier this weekend. It sounded like people were blaming the shooting on the exceptionally childish behavior and toxic climate of our national politics. Not directed at either party, but at both in fair measure. I thought we were really going to see something exceptional, that for once a tragedy was going to lead us to a better tomorrow.

That thought didn't last long.

Really? A group of people who readily label themselves Christian are going to protest a funeral? That idea being ridiculous enough on it's own gets worse when you find out that they're doing so because the girl was Catholic. Really?

I noticed too that the debate has turned back into finger pointing, party vs. party, ideology vs. ideology, and I suppose (I'm still stunned here) even denomination to denomination. I simply can't believe how quickly it turned into a divisive issue, rather than create a united front to end the tension between two groups of people that frankly see more eye to eye than either side is willing to admit.

So I'm here this morning to issue a challenge. To those in Washington and in Arizona, if they happen to read this blog, but also to you and me sitting on our couches watching it unfold on TV. If you find yourself tempted to point the finger at someone, or some people group, or whatever, take a couple of moments to ask how you might be responsible. Seriously, even those of us in Pa probably bear some of the responsibility for the political climate that has again and again been blamed for this event. I have said things about people I disagree with that I wish I could take back, and I'm sure you have too. On the surface, these are just words, but sooner or later we need to realize that those of us who are created in God's image possess the power on one level or another to create entire worlds with our words. (Genesis 1:3)

And when we've come to the realization that we all have a hand to play in the political climate that's out there, let's repent. Let's literally turn it around. What would it look like today for your to pray for the political party you disagree with? Not the "Hey God, help them see the world the way I see it" kind of prayer, but the "I honestly wish them well" prayer. What would it look like to reach out to a branch of Christianity that you have never really seen eye to eye with? (I'd like to recommend we reach out to other faiths, but hey one step at a time here I think.) Instead of tearing people down, what would it look like if the entire nation committed to building bridges?

Enough is enough. I'm tired of the nasty politics out there, but I'm even more tired of complaining about it. It's time for you and me to lay aside our pride, and start repairing the world we live in.