20 Hours In America.
The title is ripped off from THE WEST WING. Those who know the show ....you Get it!This past Monday a young man in Virginia shot and killed 32 people and injured dozens more. Of course the debate will rage for months, if not years, about the why of what happened. Tuesday afternoon I watched a memorial service for the folks killed. I was both upset and angry . Upset that all of these people had to die for nothing. Nothing!! Upset that we live in a nation where the news media and the talking heads go on television and say things like " this was bound to happen" or "perhaps this boy who did the shootings is now serving his time in hell, right where he should be". Why is our nation so jaded to the point that we just naturally expect things like this to happen?? I dont get out of the bed each morning and wonder " Hmmmmmm what bad is going to happen today". FOX and CNN suck sometimes !
Clearly the guy who killed all these people had serious problems. I am a liberal democrat and I don't believe that gun control is the answer. He bought the weapons under Virginia gun laws and it was all legal. He was just someone who had problems and acted out on them in the most hurtful way possible. No excuses..... but I think that for people to now condemn him is the wrong way to go .
I watched on NBC as they interviewed this young man who's sister was killed in the school shooting at Columbine High School back in April 1999. He said that for years he was upset at God because he never had a chance to say goodbye to his sister. It ate away at him until one day he had a type of EUREKA ! moment. God wants us to choose him and to be close to his son Jesus Christ. God was waiting for this guy to turn and let him into his heart fully . Only then could his healing process start. He said he still misses his sister but he can do more today by talking about the Love of Christ than about the horrible events that took his sister away .....
I think we should adopt that type of thought....... Let the love of Jesus sooth us and make us feel better. It's hard to let things go .....to fully give them over to Christ. We fight it each and every day.....
Words during weeks like these seem like so little .......but I was so impressed by Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia at the memorial service. He said that as Christians we sometimes recall the prayers of Jesus when he said " My God , My God why have you forsaken me ?" He tells us that as Christians we are never forgotten..The entire world is watching and sending prayers and thoughts of love our way ......and while not everyone is a Christian, we can all take heart from the wonderful message of Jesus Christ and that message is Love!
I would like to close this post with the following from my favorite TV show ....THE WEST WING. I thought about this episode almost immediatly after the events of Monday.
Aaron Sorkin wrote an episode of West Wing that was meant to be a tribute to the spirit that we witnessed on and after 9/11. In that two part episode, some of the characters, who work at the White House, get lost in rural America and end up witnesses to the lives of real Americans. The sort of people that are hard-working but face problems and hardships that need to be dealt with....... Anyway, the main characters eventually realize that they’re the only ones who’ve been worried about politics and polling data, while everyone else they encountered was simply doing their best to get by. The reason they eventually make it back to DC after many hours is due to the kindness of strangers who were more than willing to help a couple of strangers.
At the end of the episode there is breaking news that pipe bombs went off at university swim meet and the explosions and resulting fire killed 44 people. Among those killed were some men and women who rushed into the fire to help people , just like the firefighters who ran into the towers on 9/11 and just like the teachers who barricaded the doors at VaTech. The episode ends with a speech delivered by Martin Sheen, who played the President on West Wing. The speech is perhaps one of the greatest pieces of writing in TV history. To me it is beautiful. But most importantly, the overall point of the speech is so true and moving.Given what happened this week I thought that this episode said alot about what is truly good in America. Our best days are ahead. The streets of heaven are indeed too crowded with angels.
Bartlet: ...restoring abundance amid an economic shortfall, securing peace in a time of global conflict, sustaining hope in this winter of anxiety and fear. More than any time in recent history, America's destiny is not of our own choosing. We did not seek nor did we provoke an assault on our freedom and our way of life. We did not expect nor did we invite a confrontation with evil. Yet the true measure of a people's strength is how they rise to master that moment when it does arive. 44 people were killed a couple of hours ago at Kennison State University. Three swimmers from the men's team were killed and two others are in critical condition, when, after having heard the explosion from their practice facility, they ran into the fire to help get people out. Ran into the fire. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight. They're our students and our teachers and our parents and our friends. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels, but every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we're reminded that that capacity may well be limitless. This is a time for American heroes. We will do what is hard. We will achieve what is great. This is a time for American heroes and we reach for the stars. God bless their memory, God bless you and God bless the United States of America. Thank you.