|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on October 28, 2019 at 7:10 PM|
Violence in America: A Call to Action
Interpersonal violence, which includes child abuse and neglect, youth violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and elder abuse, affects millions of US residents each year. In recent days, however, the rate of violence seems to have escalated exponentially. In the Metro Atlanta area, it seems that daily shootings are becoming the norm more than the exception, and I am honestly now scared of watching the television.
Yet, reality and the happenings in our own backyards seem to become scarier by the hour. On a recent trip, I could not help but overhear a mother as she tried to keep calm as the doctor talked with her about her son’s condition in a Jacksonville hospital. He had been shot over 13 times between August and October and was at the brink of death. As she kept repeating “the doctors say that it does not look good”, to the myriad of callers, my heart broke for her and silent tears flowed down my face as I imagine this being my son. What does anyone do to deserve to be shot 13 times? Nothing! It seems that anarchy has gripped America. We discuss our differences with guns, we disagree with bullets, and we are seething with hate for self and others.
As I returned to Atlanta and shared this story, my colleague recalled another incident that hit below the belt. Why? This story involved a young man, just graduated and headed to college at my daughter's former High School (she graduated in 2017) that was shot to death three weeks ago after he walked out of a convenience store. To add insult to injury, the shooter returned to the scene to finish off the recent graduate. There is another story of a 14-year old that hid behind the house of a senior citizen in downtown Atlanta and attacked the individual as she pulled into her driveway to rob her at gunpoint of her cellphone. The quick-thinking senior citizen threw the cellphone towards them, and darted for the safety of her home. Fortunately, these 14 years old were quickly arrested, but imagine the kind of life they have started to build for themselves.
But one wonders, what does the home life of these children look like? Hopelessness? What factors have contributed to this syndrome? And what vision do they have for their future? What might be the role of post-traumatic slavery syndrome and other stressors in all of this? What can we do to save this generation? These are all big questions and it will take more than a blog to answer these, but given the propensity for violence in the United States and the average citizen packing on every street corner, the time is ripe for these conversations. Where to begin, so that other lives are not needlessly cut short? What is the role of forgiveness in all of this? How can we take back our streets, neighborhoods, and nation? Who is going to lead? What is the role of prayers and Christ-followers in all of this? I am afraid that I have more questions than answers, but I am overwhelmed. So, please free to join me in praying for our leaders and nation, and let us discuss our options as we try to stem this tide of violence in our land.
We need God to heal our land!
Yours in Christ!