Someone Was Shot

Someone was shot last night and I don’t know his name. There was a teen party…probably a graduation party…they were outside. Two teens not at the party walked up to one teen at the party and shot him dead.

I was busy doing something when I heard a commotion then police sirens. I looked outside and watched as the cop cars kept rolling up…1, 2…12, 13, 14 and 15 (that I could count). I watched out the window as the yellow crime scene tape went up.

A neighbor, who just moved into the area, was standing by my door as we looked in the direction of the dramatic scene. At that moment we did not know what had happened.
He later knocked on my door to give me a report – it was a murder. He was worked up and second guessing his recent move into the area with his six-year-old daughter. I told him I have never seen it this bad and this close. I told him I drove by a murder scene, a few blocks away, two years ago but other than that it’s been quiet around here. He riley joked – “I guess if there is only a murder every other year it’s not too bad” We laughed (I laughed nervously) finished small talk and I went back inside.

As the days passed I pondered long and hard at his keen sense of observation for my lack of apparent concern and threat – that ate at me. What had happened to me? A boy was shot in the head…bloody… dead… almost within eyesight distance. A mother’s world is smashed with grief. And what my neighbor seemed to pick up on was,” well at least it wasn’t on our side of the street, in our yard, and at least it wasn’t me or anyone I knew”.

I think in reality my reaction is all to common. In that moment, my remarks summed up the general reaction of most people. [Let me finish before you disagree]. We extend this attitude out to our city, county, state, country, and other world places. We cope by being selfish. We shut down our compassion in order to not feel pain, in order to not bleed emotionally for our fellow human being. Being human is to care or at least it use to be.

Would the results of the, Holocaust, or Bosnia, or Rwanda, or add any number of human atrocities to this list, be any different if we were able to let the pain of humanity come in… come in to the point that it HURT? Think what Jesus felt – the weight of the world on Him. What if we were brave enough to just let a chink of the light of humanities pain in to shine on our heart. I think it’s time to feel again. To hurt again. To open our eyes and see…really see humanity like Jesus does. I often wondered how mother Teresa had it in her to take in all the sickness and abject poverty and feel the pain. She once said it’s not hard, I just see them with the eyes of Jesus. Simple in words but hard in practice.

There was a time I use to work on a national teen crisis hotline. I would pray incessantly for God to open my eyes to the hurting - to bring people into my life that no one else was reaching…and…and He did. Something happened. I lost that. I became selfish again. I became fearful and even aloof to the needs of others. I pray once again “God Help me to see what you see” – talk about a dangerous prayer. Because with this prayer comes responsibility. The guilt of knowing and doing nothing is a prescription for torture.

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