Thoughts and prayers 

As a minister, I am often asked for my thoughts and prayers… and am often called to offer my thoughts and prayers… today is no different… I wish it was..
My thoughts and prayers?
We have a problem in this country with men, and anger and guns.
MEN. ANGER. GUNS.
My prayers are that we stop seeing these as separate issues, and understand that are linked together.
It is my experience that the Divine speaks to us continuously, not only thru sacred texts of the past, but in our present lives thru metaphors and in the stories of our lives.
.
Wake up.
This was in a CHURCH.
He was white.
He was male.
He had a gun.
And each one of these will get a group rallying…. 
No, religion is not the cause of all evil.
And no, of course he wasn’t in his right mind when he did this! As my grandfather used to say, “Don’t kill what you won’t eat.” Anything else is madness. 
And it is irrelevant whether he was legally allowed to have a gun… he did.
And we can not find either media’s comfort zone of their definition of terrorist…. be it Muslim, Mexican, Black… or even White Supremacist….. because single. white. male…
And there are enough single white males that they can not be considered lone wolves anymore!

They have their own pack, if indeed such a thing existed, which it doesn’t… because packs are families. That is the real story of the wolf pack…. and we as members of the human family have failed him, and all his victims.
Earlier today, I was speaking with a friend, before we knew about today’s fresh horror, and she said if I hear ‘thoughts and prayers’ one more time I’m gonna … because it really doesn’t help, does it, and not that I don’t believe in prayer or that thoughts don’t matter but… and our words tumbled over each other as we held on the power of friendship in these times of fear and terror.
And then my phone rang.

And once again I turned on my media to see the latest story of pain and suffering….

The story is told again, so we can listen. Will we?
26 dead, 27 physically wounded… a congregation that truly was a family church has deep internal, invisible wounds and a small town is shattered.
The Patriarchy with its archaic rules of power and fear has claimed more victims, 
and God,
Who is neither gendered, nor patriarchal weeps and longs for us to listen.

So my thoughts are these:

 
I ask you to ask yourself,
Not what are ’they’ gonna do about this pain and suffering…
Ask yourself, “what am I gonna do about this pain and suffering?”
Let every step you take be an active prayer for peace.
A wounded soldier wounded our world today, he was white, he was male, he Had. A. Gun.  
This is my prayer, that we may listen to the voice of the Divine.
Listen.
Act with loving kindness with your eyes wide open. 
We have been too angry for too long, we have been too scared for too long, and we have too many guns and too many ways to hurt each other.
I pray we learn to heal ourselves and each other as well.
But we must pray with more than our hearts, 

And we must act up close and personal.
Are you angry? Hurt? Do you feel alone?

Do you have a gun?

Do you know someone who feels like this?
We must use our hands and our feet.

With everyone we meet. No exceptions.
 

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About eteal

Reverend Teal is a minister, chaplain, artist and storyteller. She specializes in the human-animal bond and all its healing aspects.
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