As I scrolled through the news Saturday afternoon, one particular headline caught my eye and stopped me in my tracks: ”Active Shooter in Midland-Odessa.” As I read the brief story, it stated that persons from Odessa to Big Spring were on high alert and were being asked to shelter in place as the shooter traveled up and down Interstate 20.
Big Spring is my hometown. My brother and his family, and many, many cousins still live in this small West Texas town. It is common for them to travel to Midland on a Saturday to shop, have lunch or dinner, take care of car repairs, watch a movie, or handle common everyday tasks.
Suddenly, a headline grew really close to home.
I immediately called my brother to check on everyone. They were safe and sound, praise be to God. However, this is not the case for so many families affected by the cowardly shooter who randomly fired bullets, killing seven people, leaving behind 15 crime scenes and rattling the community I know so well.
Just a few weeks ago after the Dayton and El Paso shootings, I said 'this must stop'. And I admit - I knew then that violence in our world would continue and sadly, I also knew that very little would be done to continue efforts to curb gun violence in this country.
Nevertheless, we must continue to speak out against a pervasive culture of violence mixed with easy accessibility to guns. We cannot allow our voices to be silenced by numbness.
Yes, pray - but please add action to your prayers - write your representatives, your congressperson, governors, and anyone and everyone who can help change laws that will monitor those who purchase firearms.
But perhaps the most critical action we can all take is to find those sacred moments when we can share the good news of a risen Christ with someone. The only true and lasting peace that has the power of transforming this broken world is the peace of Jesus Christ.
Grace and Peace,