I woke this morning to the sounds of my one-year-old calling for her mommy. I rolled over and was met by my four-year-old daughter snuggling for warmth against my side. I gave her a kiss and reached for my phone to silence the alarm. I quickly, as I do most mornings, scanned my newsfeed for the news of the day, and was met with a terrible headline alerting early risers to the attack in Las Vegas.
We live in a broken world full of broken people. In the coming days, law enforcement and journalists will comb through the life of the man that callously took the lives of over 50 people and injured over 500. We will hear of his family, work history, and past relationships. Efforts will be made to explain the how and why of this atrocity. Ultimately, however, a reason may not be found. We will search for answers, but the uncomfortable truth of it all may leave us with utter confusion and no true answer as families are forced to pick up the pieces and move forward.
There is no doubt that many will use this tragedy to score political points. I caution you against that. As I write this there is a mom anxiously awaiting a phone call from her child that may never come, there is a wife preparing to bury her husband, and there are law enforcement personnel dealing with the aftermath of another senseless attack.
I wish I could provide words that would help or make it all go away, but I can’t. I am unable to bring a child, mom, or dad back to their family. I am unable to rewind the clock and prevent this terrible act. I am unable to provide an understanding for what occurred last night in Las Vegas.
I realize that some of us are not in the Las Vegas area and feel as if we cannot help in a substantial way. I feel this same sense of helplessness, but we can start here at home. We can love our family better today. We can refuse to let our anxieties and petty worries drive us to despair. We can choose to love and assume the best of our neighbors. We can choose to mend broken relationships and cease seeing those that disagree with us as enemies.
These small efforts in our lives will go a long way in seeing a trajectory change in our discourse and interactions with our fellow man. We have a belief here at HOPE that every human deserves our love, value, and respect. We believe this to be true because every human was created by and bears the image of our Maker.
I cannot provide the peace and comfort so many need today, but I can point you to the One that can. Your prayers will not fall on deaf ears, your love will not be given in vein, and your care for those hurting today will not be a wasted effort.
You may not be able to fly to Las Vegas today, Puerto Rico tomorrow, or Texas and Florida next week, but you can love your neighbor today. You can love your child today. You can love your spouse today. You can simply love today. Join us at HOPE as we purposefully and wholeheartedly choose love today!
posted by Andrew Wood, Executive Director of Hope Resource Center