It’s a strange feeling, travelling in a country in which yet another of its elected members is wounded by gunfire… not to mention nine who have been killed and another 19 who have been wounded…
It’s something that you expect in a county marked by political upheaval or military occupation. Here in the United States you don’t expect that do you?
Or maybe you do, maybe you may come to expect it from a country which is seemingly unable reconcile a historical constitutional amendment (the “right” to bear arms) to the cold and present realities of death.
Maybe you do, in a country in which people seem to prefer to take video or pictures of people being bashed or even stabbed rather than stop and help and call the police.
But this is not just this country – as we know, Australia does not need to go back far in its history to examine the brutality inflicted by firearms – Port Arthur being one example. Australia, despite the restrictive firearms laws, still seems to be in the danger of fanatics and extremists. They may not have the access to legal firearms which is available here in the U.S., however the underlying philosophy of extremism (and apathy for that matter) seems to be growing.
As we know, God in Jesus Christ provides the ultimate answer to all violence and evil in the redemptive and victorious work of the cross and resurrection. However, how does this work out in a practical way in the midst of death like we have seen today? How does God provide the answer to people who are already caught up in a web of anger and hatred (or other conditions such as mental illness)?
This is an age old question, of course. I know personally of the transformational love of Christ, which has re-made me, and who continues to do so, affirming and loving me into a new and better person. I know that this transformational power must be shared with the world in the midst of this violence; but how?
In a time of unanswered questions, the only answer I can find currently is to return again and again to this God in Christ for new answers, new revelation, new hope, healing and resurrection amidst violence and pain. May God reveal to us through the Holy Spirit, how to respond to the ongoing violence which continues to infect this world. CG