Normalcy. Horror. Stunned. Sad. Angry. And then desensitized.
We're a generation that's being forced to grow up in a garbled state of hope and mistrust. We crave peace and normalcy, but we're forced into watching our fellow man perpetrate the unthinkable. And one of the heartbreaking consequences is that each "unthinkable" act then becomes accepted….expected. Note the irony there? It's an ever-worsening vortex of depravity that becomes ever more normal to us.
It would all be completely overwhelming if we weren't such a resilient people. The darkness of the power of sin would seem to win if it weren't for the fact that we continue to see people rise up and immediately battle back. An example would be the moving pictures and video of people responding to the hurt: policemen, firemen, other runners, people simply standing nearby. Cradling victims, removing their own clothes to help staunch the flow of blood, weeping as they comfort.
As the world watches, immediately calls rise from our throats for justice (mine included). When we hit the "anger" stage, we want fierce, swift retribution. I understand that, and I crave that. In my mind, it deserves justice…and my heart hopes that fierce, unwavering judgment will deter a future event. Perhaps spare future tragedy.
But I hope we all know that's not likely. There will be worse things in our future.
I'm not suggesting these people should escape justice. They ABSOLUTELY need to be held accountable for their actions. The laws of our land must be upheld.
But once the stunned anger resides, we need something to replace it. If left empty, the "anger void" refills easily and quickly with its cancerous neighbor: hatred. And that really makes us suffer.
I'm reminded of the saying "Holding onto hatred is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." Hatred kills from the inside out. A heart filled with hatred is never at peace. A heart filled with hatred is never content. Never truly knows happiness.
So what IS the answer? I wish I knew. I wish I had one. I think we all do. If you're like me, you're demanding one.
But it's not hate.