Fort Hood Shooting

Fort Hood Shooting

Another shooting.  The location, an army base.  The shooter, a psychiatrist.  Thirteen dead; thirty wounded. 

Again, we're left with that painful, one-word question:  Why?  Why did this act of violence happen?  What was going through the mind of Major Nidal Malik Hasan-and kept going through it-that he could shoot more than 40 people?   What is going through his mind this morning as he recovers from his own wounds?

The reflexive "Why?" that comes in the wake of senseless violence is understandable.  If we can answer the "Why?" question, we can begin to make sense of the senselessness, we have a little bit of power, a little control over a very frightening experience.

Trouble is, answers to the "Why?" question often only come much later than the event, if they come at all...which leaves us in the uncomfortable, vulnerable place of bewilderment, confusion, dismay, fear.

So, what do we do today when answers to the "Why?" aren't forthcoming?  How do we make it through this day as we collectively stand among the detritus of so senseless an act of violence?

Quite simply, we pray.  We pray for the families of those who died.  We pray for the wounded.  We pray for all the people who have been traumatized by this event.  We pray for the people who are caring for those who have been wounded and/or traumatized.  We pray for gunman.  We pray for his family.  We pray for each other.  We pray God's peace and presence and healing and comfort.

A hymn we sing at our church ("The Servant Song") has this line:  "I will hold the Christ light for you, in the night time of your fear.  I will hold my hand out to you, speak the peace you long to hear."  An excellent item for today's To Do list.

Take care for and with each other, friends.