Pray With Your Tears Today


I have less than an hour to dash off a blog post, and who says that's a bad thing? It's making me choose my words well, spend my time wisely, and put forth what is most on my heart. Being pressed for time might indeed make us a more authentic people, because when faced with split second decisions, one must go with one's gut.

I'm here to say my gut isn't always spot on about everything, but it grows with the information I give it. My gut is allowed to fail, too! We are human. We're all allowed to fail. And emote. And begin anew. Emoting is a huge thing that we've forgotten to permit ourselves, and it's causing lots of issues to be swept under a rug, spreading damage beyond awareness. Who wants that? So let's give space for feeling:

Friends, my heart is so heavy from the latest mass shooting in our country. There's no going around it and I don't even want to. I've learned by now that each storm has a meaning and avoiding it just means it will continue to jump me when I'm not ready. So let's have at it, storm!

Let's stop pretending it's not a problem, all this killing of innocents while they try to enjoy a smidge of life in a stressful existence. It is stressful everywhere that people live together, care for one another, fight the status quo, and work tirelessly for justice. (This is most people I know.) But we have to fight for better checks and balances. We must. People who have no business to access semi-automatic weapons are accessing them. Today, another American terrorist won. He won unless we do something to prevent this in the future. Someday our own lives or our children's lives will surely depend on it if we don't change things at the operating level. How many more statistics will it take?

I wholeheartedly condemn the possession of semi-automatic rifles. There it is. Do you want to know why? It's a trophy, not a tool. It is absolutely unnecessary and one can live just as remarkable a life, if not more so, without one. Let's stop pretending it's a toy everyone gets to play with, with no consequences. There are always consequences. We are looking at them. We are heart-breaking as a national pastime. Let's just... not.

What can we do? 

Pray with your tears today.
Then, with your ears:
Listen! Who is hurting? Why?
Can you change yourself to become a healing force?

Change is the important word here. We have our ideologies. We cling to them like a most intrusive addiction. We must be right, always right, (and have our rights,) always the ones who truly know in some superior way what's going on in the world while others are just struggling to grasp the truth. Just. Stop. It. Let's not be on the defensive. Let's be people of compassion, empathy, goodwill, MERCY. It's a powerful word and even more powerful action. I haven't learned that the easy way. I've learned it by people showing me what it is, sharing it with me, and challenging me, (yes verbally challenging me,) to practice it. I'm doing the same now, in hopes of paying it forward. Mercy has been one of my most significant life teachers. Let us become more merciful in our treatment of humanity.

That is the change that is necessary. Don't look outward. Look inward, if you must find something to alter. Look to your neighbors (for those who want to HELP- there's someone in your reach. I promise. I PROMISE.) Look at the action you can take in your community to make it a safer, better place for everyone. (Last year we signed a petition to stop a gun shop from opening just a few dozen feet from where our kids played outside. It doesn't even have to be a big thing. Just a conscious effort to stay present.)

I know I sound urgent. I sound emotional. Emotion is the correct response to preventable tragedy and grief. So many more lives affected by today's loss, my heart can't take it. I know this is a much more sober post than normal, and often I broach an issue with some well-aimed poetry, but today? Today, I'm letting it spill out. Breaking the dam of words.

Isn't it time?


Jamie Bagley