Life…Does It Really Matter?
Violence and loss of life seem to be everywhere we turn. It seemed for just a short period during the pandemic that crime was on the decline. Life appeared to be in a holding pattern as the world tried to come to grips with the silent but deadly enemy that descended upon us and prevailed. As the world began to open up, vaccination schedules took off, and restrictions slowly but surely were being lifted, the crime rates across this nation now seemed to begin spiraling out of control.
On the evening of Tuesday, April 20th the nation was on the edge of their seats waiting for the jury’s verdict that would seal the fate of the officer who brutally murdered George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN nearly a year ago. At precisely the same hour in Columbus, Ohio a sixteen year old female teenager was gunned down in the street at the hands of a local police officer. Consequently, the incident has gone nationwide, therefore local officials and clergy leaders have called for an immediate investigation while imploring the public to remain calm. All of that is necessary as the public is demanding an explanation, justice, and even justification for what has transpired. But where is the consolation for the mother, the father, the family members that now must come to grips with the reality that their loved one’s life has been snuffed out in the blink of an eye. The life of the one who took a life has been forever altered. There is no consolation. I can assure you that not one of these individuals, particularly the young girl who was murdered had any idea how their day would end.
People across the United States are dying at rates that are skyrocketing weekly. While the world is searching for answers, each time I hear of yet another senseless death specifically from bullet gunfire the question comes to my mind, “was there another way?” It would be foolish to believe that every person who dies as a result of gunfire is innocent of any wrongdoing. But why does it seem as if the main objective is “shoot to kill”! I honestly can say that I have never held a gun in my hand. The very sight of them gives me chills. Yet, I am not naïve enough to believe that even the most proficiently trained law officers are not taught alternative means to disengage and diffuse a situation even when firing a weapon. Each time I see the video footage of a lifeless body laying in the street, struck down by repeated bullets being fired at them, I ask, is the first reaction always to reach for a weapon, or couldn’t they have aimed the gun at any other part of the body with the intent of stopping them, not murdering them. I recognize that in the heat of the moment, there are only seconds not minutes to make a rational decision and judgment call. But there must be a better way. Are we on the verge of becoming a lawless nation where there is little regard for human life? Black Lives Matter is printed on signs, posted on lawns, and carried in every protest around the world. But if innocent children are being gunned down as they hold their arms up, facing the police officers chasing them, and still they are gunned down . . . what really is the value of a human life? Scientists were racing against the clock to create a vaccine to stop a deadly virus that began invading our world in 2019. I have come to wonder if we are being overtaken by a virus equally as deadly as the Coronavirus, whose origin is racism born from the seed of hatred. Not even Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson and Johnson can produce a vaccine solution to combat this public enemy. The only manufacturer with the guaranteed cure is Jesus, only the one true Savior can protect us. My heart aches for our children, it aches for our families, it aches for the victims. Our world is in a crisis. “If we ever needed the Lord before, we sure do need Him now.”
“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the
cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the
weak and the needy; deliver them from the
hand of the wicked.”
Psalm 82: 3 – 4 (NIV)