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I’m numb, and yet…

June 19, 2015

I’m numb.  Another shooting.  Another young white male with a gun. Immediately everyone wants to co-opt it for their particular pet cause: gun control, the broken mental health system (this with no indication AT ALL that mental illness is part of this particular incident), you name it, it is being said somewhere. Fingers pointing every which way.

Yes.  This is about race and racism.  Yes, this is about white male privilege.   Yes, this is about guns.  Yes, this is about a broken fallen world.    Yes, this is about many things.  But please, above all, this is about people:  People whose lives were cut short by another person.  All of them image bearers of the Living God.  Yes, even the shooter is an image bearer.  A broken, fallen, damaged and seemingly very corrupted image bearer, but still made in the image of God.

It breaks my heart when we, as image bearers of the Living God, hurt other image bearers.  To devastating effect: 9 lives ended because, ultimately, the shooter didn’t see them as fellow image bearers. Perhaps he didn’t see himself as an image bearer, let alone anyone else.  I don’t think this will even be a question that is asked.  But I’m asking it: Do we see those around us, those we love, but more so, those we dislike, those we fear, those we disdain, as image bearers of the Living God?

I can’t prevent the next shooting.  But I can be aware that each and every human being I encounter, no matter what their character, what choices they have made in life, what their beliefs, bears the image of the Living God.  And with this in mind, I can treat them with respect and dignity, because I too, bear God’s image.

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