August 5, Sunday. On this day in history: 7 people were shot in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, WI. Three are still in critical condition.
It is only two weeks since the mass shooting at a theater in Aurora, CO. And now there is another tragedy.
After Sunday’s shocking, senseless attack at worshipers in their temple, we are left saddened, bereaved, and wondering why. So much hatred and bigotry. Still.
I held back tears during the day as I watched the events unfold and as details were released. So far it appears that a single gunman acted alone. The motive is not yet confirmed, though speculations appear on the news that this is a hate crime.
The Sikh community needs our prayers and the love of Christ. They are feeling sadness and shock and pain… and fear.
The book of 2 Timothy, chapter 3, starts with these words:
1-5Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people. (The Message)
It would seem we’re already in this stage, doesn’t it? But sadly, although we’re sinking pretty low, we still aren’t at rock bottom yet. I’m not trying to sound pessimistic; I think it’s just right there in scripture, how bad it’s going to get. “There are difficult times ahead.” While it’s not great right now, it can certainly get worse.
We don’t wake up in the morning knowing if this day will be our last one on earth. We don’t expect to be ambushed in our place of worship. We don’t expect to attend a movie and not come out alive. We don’t expect terrorism, hate crimes, or violence to touch us. For the most part in this country, we have been able to live without this type of daily fear. Yes, things changed after 9/11, but we have still been able to live in a fair amount of peace and freedom, going about our daily business for the most part.
It feels like it’s hitting closer to home. For all of us. A theater? A place of worship?
Most of my readers do not know that I was born in Punjab– the same state in India where the religion of Sikhism was born. I have been in the U.S. since I was a baby, when my parents moved here. I was brought up here in the states, and am a U.S. citizen. My parents grew up in in India. They are not Sikhs. But Punjab is their home. So those people in that temple… though I know them not, they look like me. They have different names, like me. (My real name is not “Anna”. It is my pen name. I do mention this on my “About Me” page. And I am a Christian, a born-again believer– the first in my family. But that’s the subject of another post.)
I guess that is why this one hits deeper and I feel it.
It could have been anyone who looks in the least bit different. And doesn’t it break your heart? It breaks mine. All people are precious, made in the image of God.
I simply pray: for the people of the Sikh community, for the victims’ families, for the hatred to end, for peace to prevail, and understanding for us all… and that we would learn how to mourn with those who mourn.
Thankfully , this week I had been counting some gifts before this tragedy occurred… otherwise, I might not have remembered… #882-890:
882. a car that works
883. comfortable walking shoes
884. all kinds of clouds in the sky: fluffy, puffy, wispy, long, full, dark, light, airy, thick, gray… such beauty
885. abundance of eggplant from the garden… so much I have to give some away
886. Thirst. It reminds me why I’m here; it reminds me of my dependence on God.
887. Piling on the couch with blankets and watching the Olympics.
888. Water, clean drinking water. We can’t take it for granted.
889. Kids having friends over (they had a Nerf gun battle, played Apples to Apples, jumped on the trampoline)
890. Picking up daughter from music camp
Counting to 1000 gifts with Ann at A Holy Experience