I remember when people used to talk about how television or video game violence was desensitizing people to the reality of such horrors. Now it seems actual episodes of extreme violence are occurring with such frequency that it also has a numbing effect. I can still be shocked and grieved by such incidents, but I find myself growing weary of the predictable responses.
We collectively gasp when we learn about a school shooting or a nightclub massacre or a bomb going off in a crowded public locale. We are saddened when the police shoot someone or someone shoots the police. Then we are flooded with news reports of the casualties and the search for the perpetrator and/or their motives. Then the political finger pointing starts and the soapbox proclamations begin as we try to categorize the issue. If we cannot find a cause, we at least want someone to blame. In the meantime, people fill in the blanks as they share on social media that they “Stand with ______” or “Pray for ________.”
Aside from the actual tragedies and loss of life, I am sick of the words when there are no words. We fill the void with empty words, angry words, soundbites and platitudes. I John 3:18 says, “Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” Do not get me wrong; I have not given up on words. They are powerful. They can change hearts and minds. That is why I share words from the pulpit every week. But more than anything we can say, we need the Word of God.
Some people say that and mean we all need to go back to Sunday school and learn the Bible. Sure, it would not hurt if more people knew the Scripture, but that is not what I intend. I mean the Word of God that is a living thing. I mean the law of love that is “written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” I just pray they have not become so hardened that nothing can penetrate them anymore. And that’s all I have to say about that.