Sunday, July 27, 2008

"Mom, another person there died,"

reported The Boy, watching CNN.

He and I are huddled together, watching. We don't understand. We don't understand how someone can walk into one of our UU churches and begin shooting.

This ... is a gentle religion. We sing that we are standing on the side of love.

There are no answers right now. How often first news can be wrong news, I remind myself. But I can't help connecting the dots ... they say he wasn't mentally ill. They say he walked in, wearing a red, white, and blue shirt and shouting hateful things. They say he had been planning this, that acquaintances had seen him practicing on targets.

While I've been practicing meditation, he was practicing shooting humans.

I spoke with my mom. She said she had been sitting there, wondering what she could say to me, to convince me not to go into ministry.

She did give a little laugh and agree with me that if she were really worried about my safety, she should try to convince me to not drive down to the medical center every week, statistics about car wrecks and all.

We do what we do. We get up, and drive our cars, and go to work, or to the store, or to school.

Or to church.

They say that the first congregant to die, Greg McKendry, tried to shield others. "I want to punch you," I tell The Husband. He raises his eyebrows. "Because, you would do that. You would die, trying to save others in our church." He nods. He would. He raises his eyebrows again, cocking his head in a challenging way. Yes, I sigh. I hope that I would, too.

I instantly think of many in our church, who would put themselves between a gun and the rest of the church. I'm sure you have those in your church, too.

We are a gentle angry people
And we are singing, singing for our lives.

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