In the Wake of Yet Another School Shooting

I believe some of the most revelatory and empowering moments in scripture come from moments in which we experience not the divinity of God… but the deep and abiding humanity of God… and particularly God’s vulnerable solidarity with the lament and grief for the brokenness of creation.

On the day after another tragic school shooting that has left at least 19 elementary school children dead and two teachers… in which our children find themselves preparing for another round of active shooter drills in their own classrooms around the nation… in which we take “last day of school” pictures with our kids while recognizing that yesterday was the last day for 19 children and they didn’t even know it. And their parents’ and friends’ worlds were irrevocably broken and taken from them in ways that will resound with unrelenting pain for the rest of their lives… in which this particular grief joins a long litany of such grief.

In the wake of that we find our nation angry, hurt, and looking for answers…

In the wake of that we hug our children harder and longer…

In the wake of that we look at our own concerns and problems as trivial gifts of life….

In the wake of that we ask ourselves why we can’t solve this….

In the wake of that we ask our leaders why they won’t solve this…

In the wake of that we stop… and we crumble… and we grieve…

And I find myself drawn to God’s grief with us.

It was not just “Jesus wept”…

Hosea speaks out the gut-churching compassion of God…

Paul speaks of creations growing in labor-like pangs of lament for what is not yet…

Moses confronts God with responsibility to never give up working toward a better tomorrow…

Isaiah and Exodus speak of God moved to draw close hearing the cries of God’s people…

Jeremiah’s lamentations dance a complex grief with God and alongside God…

Jeremiah speaks again this complexity voicing God’s definitive word: “I am a God nearby, and not far off…”

God is moved to mourn for Moab… to wail even… to sob and weep…

And Jesus… drawing close to the cross, pulls aside to weep for Jerusalem…

“If only you knew the ways that make for peace….”

Today we give ourselves the grace to be bound up in all the feelings.

Today we give ourselves the grace to do nothing because we are world-weary.

Today we give ourselves the grace to rage at the machine and spit in the eye of the hurricane.

Today we give ourselves the grace to name the complex anger-grief that mourns, weeps, and wails.

Today we give ourselves the grace… to be wrapped in the arms of our mother-God.

But tomorrow must be different. We are long overdue to be…

Drawn close to the suffering heart of brokenness

Halted from perpetuating systems of harm and trauma…

Resolved to write a better story… to live our loss through transformed ways of being…

Formed and forming each other in the ways that make for peace…

Vulnerable before each other and with each other and for all the each others.

Oh God… our God… help us to make it so… to make it so beyond our prayers and in our actions.

Oh God… our God… make us to make it so…

Oh God… our God….

About Andrew Kukla

I am the proud father of four wonderful children, loving husband to Caroline, brother to three mostly wonderful sisters, and son of two parents that gifted me with a foundation of love and freedom. I also am a Presbyterian pastor and former philosophy major with a love of too many words (written with many grammatical errors and parenthetic thoughts), Soren Kierkegaard, and reflections on living a life of discipleship that is open to all the challenges, ups and downs, brokenness and grace, of a chaotic and wonderful life founded upon the love of God for all of creation.

Posted on May 25, 2022, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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