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Praying For Broken Things to Be Made Whole, Again

It's been 2 weeks since the Las Vegas mass shooting that took the lives of 58 people and injured hundreds. It was this country’s worst mass shooting in modern history, and yet, it feels like most of us have moved on--to let other things occupy our minds, and determine the news we digest. We are becoming accustomed to the shootings, the increasing toll in lives. We are aghast for a brief time, then we move on. It makes sense really—we need to live our lives, we don’t want to be living in fear or spending all our time in despair for what’s happening. We want to push it out of our minds and concentrate on more positive things.

When 49 people died in gunfire at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida in June 2016, it took longer for us to stop talking about it, but we did. There will always be another one, we say to ourselves. There’s nothing we can do. We feel helpless.

In July of 2016, I wrote the song “For Broken Things” as a prayer for healing of the brokenness in our country and in our world that was evidenced in the shooting in Orlando as well as many other shootings that summer. Over a year later, the lyrics are eerily appropriate for the Las Vegas shooting:

“You know they always felt safe dancing,

Not so anymore.

In a nightclub or on the street,

Feels like we’re always in a war.”

Do we think it is horrible? Yes. But we are getting used to it, and beginning to let it be a new normal.

Here’s the thing: the more we train ourselves to live with the brokenness and the violence, the more broken we become. The more we see it as “just the way things are,” the more it will be the way things are, and the more our brokenness will become the lay of the land.

Today I want to make this pledge: I refuse to get used to mass shootings. I want to pledge myself to looking for ways to making the world a gentler, safer place, and believing that we can make common sense gun reform happen. Will you join me? Let’s refuse to see the shootings in Orlando and Las Vegas and many others, as the way things are. Let’s continue to weep, and insist that something can be done. Let’s refuse to let it be seen as normal.

The song ends with a question that remains on my heart, and we are the ones who can answer it:

“…the way we’ll cross this mountain will try our very souls—

We’ve got to travel there together

For broken things to be made whole

For broken things to be made whole

Can we travel there together Every voice is important

Can we travel there together listen to each other

Can we travel there together hate cannot have the last word

Can we travel there together it seems impossible until it's done

Can we travel there together?

for broken things to be made whole.”

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