Friday, August 24, 2012

It Screams Out

The headline screams, “19 Hurt in 7 Overnight Shootings in Chicago

My heart sinks as I scan the article. This is not how I wanted to be greeted on this beautiful morning.  The sun is shining illuminating the room as a breeze blows through the condo, whispering of all that the day holds. The girls are still sleeping and it is peaceful in our tiny section of the world.

But there is no rest when I read the article.

Nineteen people were wounded in at least seven shootings within eight hours overnight in Chicago, police said.
Eight of them, mostly teenagers, were struck in what's believed to have been a drive-by shooting around 9:15 p.m. Police were patrolling the area when they heard the gunfire at 79th Street and South Essex  Avenue.
Two 14-year-old boys, a 15 year-old boy, two 16-year-old boys and a 19-year-old woman were taken to area hospitals in fair to serious condition. A 28-year-old male was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition.

I’m supposed to be thinking of going to a park today, what cookies we’ll bake, and which toys to bring to the beach tomorrow. But instead I’m thinking of the mommas. I’m thinking of the mommas on the other end of Chicago who are wondering where their babies are. I’m thinking of the mommas who are worried about their babies sitting in a hospital in critical condition.

I woke up wondering what I would write today. Plans filled my head all night with what I had wanted to accomplish.  But now my hearts is joined with these moms, dads, grandmas, and grandpas. My heart is joined with the sisters, brothers, and friends. And my heart that was filled with sadness. This violence has to stop. And my heart is filled with anger. This violence has to stop.

I’m just a mom, on the other end of the city, somewhat isolated from the headlines. But I can’t pretend it doesn’t affect me. I can’t pretend anymore. My Jesus wouldn’t read the article and then do nothing. It simply has to stop. I have no choice to join. 

And I don’t know how. All I know to do is to write and to pray. And today, today that might be enough.

 Tomorrow might cry out for more.

1-2 Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, "How can I help?"
3-6That's exactly what Jesus did. He didn't make it easy for himself by avoiding people's troubles, but waded right in and helped out. "I took on the troubles of the troubled," is the way Scripture puts it. Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it's written for us. God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever he will do next. May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all. Then we'll be a choir—not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus!
Romans 15: 1-6

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on:::


  1. I haven't seen the news yet today, so I hadn't heard about this yet. I can completely relate to you and your feelings about this. The suffering of the world hurts my heart and even bruises my spirit. Today my heart goes out to those teens and their families.

    1. Sadly, especially during the Summer, this kind of headline is commonplace.

      Thanks for reading, and thands for praying alongside!

  2. My heart sink as well when I read or hear such reports. And Writing and praying is a strong weapon to use against such sorrow.

    1. Hi Diane, thanks for stopping by (I just stopped by your place and read your BEAUTIFUL piece from today!). Blessings to you!

  3. Your words reach out to me all the way in Bakersfield, California. I am with those Mamas today, too - and joining you in prayer. I'm grateful to have "met" you today via Five Minute Friday.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for praying! I'm grateful to have met you too!

  4. It is alarming when I read the headlines and the violence that impacts us every day. But yes, we can join together in so many ways. We can pray for our cities, our children and the youth of our communities. It made me think of the TV show 'Secret Millionaire' where the person gets out into the community to find people who are making a difference. I think we all need to explore our own communities too.

    Blessings and love,

    1. Debbie, Thanks for taking the time to read. What I find so difficult is the shooting today at the Empire State Building made national news, but shootings like this happen in Chicago ALL THE TIME. It just breaks my heart.

  5. I had not yet heard this. Praying.
    "My Jesus wouldn't do nothing."
    Thank for writing and praying and being open to what he has you doing.

    1. Thank you Melanie, for checking out the blog. But more than that, thank you for praying. There needs to be an end to the violence.

  6. I so appreciate the deep way you are feeling this pain of others. It is so easy to read these stories, or hear them on the news and feel disconnected from it. As a college instructor, I often have a hard time getting my students to get to this level of empathy and understanding...because I think its so important to us as a society. As you say, "I can't pretend it doesn't effect me anymore." Thanks for the inspiration and for taking the time to write about it so others can be reminded as well.

  7. What sad news. I hadn't heard this, either. I can see why all the thoughts of baking cookies and the ordinary activities of life were blown out of your mind. Prayer is the best option.