I have often heard it said that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”(Martin Luther King Jnr.). When we heard the news of the shooting today, we were filled with a sullen sadness. My school is only a few minutes away from Newtown – the site of the incident. I sat in the CT Transit local bus, watch stranger after stranger walk past me today, each time quaking a little more in my boots. What was concealed under those hoodies? In those heavy and baggy jeans? In those backpacks? Moreso, what was concealed in that heart? My friend has told me the story of a bus tragedy that happened in Canada, when an unknown stranger walked into a bus, sat for a while and just before his stop, decided to stab the stranger sitting right next to him.
“Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere” ~ Martin Luther King Jnr.
Today it has made sense to me, and yet no sense at all. I cannot understand why innocent children must be subject to this. I cannot understand the motivations for doing this. I cannot understand why I have to quiver in my boots everytime, in my going out and coming in in New Haven just because I know not what is to come.
Governor Malloy said in the news, “Today evil visited this community“. Hm. I say today, evil reared its face, and told us that it has been in cohabitation with us for a long time. It has been in cohabitation with us , in our hearts, in our policies, in our gun trade, in our attitudes to other injustices – Aurora movie theatre shooting, shooting in a temple in Wisconsin, shooting in shopping malls, shooting down our own humanity, our own conscience, our own futures.
I am shaken, as we all are. (Obama’s short speech)
My heart goes out to the families of the deceased. My heart goes out to all of us, humanity – the family of the deceased.
I sent out a prayer request to a few friends on campus last week to consider praying for the safety of all in our community. Too often (literally, almost everyday), we receive police reports of assault, mugging or violence on nearby campus streets. Many Yale students have been victims to robberies, theft and assault, and most often, the victims are juveniles. But a wise friend of mine, Julian Reid (I often deem him a sage), re-focused the prayer request I sent out when he said “Metty, I think we should be praying for the hearts of the perpetrators of these crimes and not just for our own safety”. Wow. When he said that, I stopped in my thoughts. He was right, but I had never thought of it. The real focus of our prayer should not be solely our safety, but the hearts and minds of the people who compromise that safety.
God, show us mercy. Where do we go from here?