Is this real?

The National Crisis of Mass Shootings

By Gwen Sellers

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Do you ever wonder if this is real life? Some days I am so shocked by what takes place that I almost can't believe it's really happening. The US is certainly in a period of turmoil. Most recently, people have been killed over what seems to boil down to fear and hatred. Police violence, riots, violence against police, mass shootings — and those are only the ones that have made national news in the past few months. Is this really happening in my country? We also have the presidential election complete with more than the typical amount of politicking. Corruption, lack of integrity, and lack of competence seem not only obvious, but even applauded. The populace is evidently displeased with the candidate options, and yet those candidates have somehow managed to win enough support to get them where they are; clearly people are voting for them.

Perhaps my shock speaks to my own ethnocentrism more than anything else. I have lived a fairly trouble-free life in a country that has been mostly safe and, at least I thought, relatively fair. Of course I expected the outliers here and there — catastrophic exceptions to the rule that would be quickly handled with justice and compassion. I thought racism and inequality were dying out, that we were working together to resolve issues, not that strife was ramping up. Though I know the wheels of justice turn slowly, I thought that at least the system functioned with logic and integrity. Questionable and even corrupt things happening in the political arena is nothing new, but it used to seem a bit more scandalous and generally frowned upon than it does now. I realize that the US has enjoyed an undeserved time of internal peace and that I've lived an undeserved peaceful life. We're now beginning to fully understand how life is in a majority of countries. So how am I to react?

Of course I want better things for the US. I want my nephews to be able to grow up in the same pleasant circumstances I did. I don't want people to fear going out in public. I don't want law-abiding citizens to live in fear of law enforcement, nor law enforcement to live in fear of the public. I don't want people being killed so often and so senselessly. I don't want to lose the rights and freedoms we have cherished. As I've previously written, the solution for our country is for people to come to know Jesus Christ. We cannot expect a political savior. We have one Savior and He has already completed the work. The great thing is that He provides so much more than a nice life in an enjoyable country. He gives real life, eternal life (John 10:10; 14:6). He is the Savior of the world. He cares about every human being, every heart. Jesus isn't ethnocentric, and He is interested in much greater things than our nation. And yet He is also interested in such small things as the details of my life. God does the whole picture — big and small. National crisis has a way of putting the struggles of my own life into perspective, and yet my personal struggles do still remain. The day still goes on for those of us on the outside looking in. Sometimes it is the happenings in my own life, not the national news, that has me questioning whether this is really happening. God, and He alone, can handle it all. He is Lord of nations and Lord of individual lives.

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Published 7-18-16