Last week, I was out of town when I received the alerts about the Allen mass shooting. As I scrolled through Twitter, I was horrified of the raw footage of the murder scene. My heart ached. As I fought back tears, I found myself experiencing an array of emotions. I was angry. I was sad. I was disappointed. I was fearful. It was a rollercoaster ride of feelings. I’m heartbroken for the loss of life, and for the pain and suffering of these families. I’m angry that so many people who were there are dealing with trauma because of the experience that will be with them for the rest of their lives.
I’m sick of this becoming common and I’m tired of a society that is becoming so desensitized because it happens so often. I’m tired (once again) of the onslaught of only getting ‘thoughts and prayers.’
I’m tired of families losing their loved ones to random acts of violence and those who witness these atrocities dealing with injuries and memories for the rest of their lives.
I’m tired of people who have no value for human life and who choose to deal with their insecurities, racism, hatred, and unresolved pain by murdering innocent people.
I’m tired of politicians sending condolences who choose to do absolutely nothing but offer lip service. They pander for votes but chose to hand off the significant issues to the next generation to address.
I’m tired of people who don’t vote and do not see the correlation between their everyday lives and these folks who make decisions.
I’m tired of people who do vote but only focus on single issues, who do not pay attention to how those they elect are impacting other facets of their lives or that only care about how it impacts them and no one else because they aren’t affected.
I’m tired of children and adults losing their lives—of families grieving because of the unexpected loss of life taken senselessly.
I’m tired that there is no safe place, e.g.: churches, synagogues, malls, grocery stores, schools, any public places—and the list goes on and on and on.
I’m tired that people will live in fear and isolate themselves from enjoying the freedom we are supposed to have in this country.
I’m tired of the divisiveness and rhetoric that creates an ‘us versus them’ dynamic—not recognizing that when one suffers, we all pay the price either directly or indirectly. We all are connected.
I’m tired of the passion to protect unborn babies but when they get here, we don’t want to make sure they thrive throughout their lives.
I’m tired of mental health being blamed when there are hundreds of thousands of people with mental health issues who do not make decisions to harm others instead of recognizing that we have created a culture that does not value human life. We feast on a diet of destruction and viciousness. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. And you should be, too.
I would be foolish to believe that there is only one problem and one solution. It’s multifaceted. Just as mental health is an issue, it’s not the only issue. Just as guns are an issue, it’s not the only issue. We have got to be willing to address root causes and not just symptoms. Otherwise, we will continue to place a band-aid on a rapidly growing tumor. As a woman of faith, I believe in prayers. I know they work but I am also one who understands that without action, nothing happens. James 2:14-18 is a reminder to all of us:
“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
America, let’s see your faith AND your works…
(Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the host of the Tapestry podcast and the author of three books for women. She is also the vice president of Community Affairs for the State Fair of Texas. To learn more, visit <drfroswa.com>.)