Part of our morning routine includes singing:
This is the day, this is the day.
That the Lord has made, that the Lord has made.
We will rejoice, we will rejoice
and be glad in it, and be glad in it.
This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.
In the middle of our singing this song this morning, I heard the news that over 50 people had been killed and over 400 injured and that those numbers would climb throughout the day. I read accounts and listened to interviews knowing that the people who experienced the horrific tragedy in Las Vegas last night would never, never be the same because The Body Keeps the Score of trauma.
This is the day the Lord has made? Certainly not.
This is the day we have made. We have made this day by insisting, demanding, and defending on protecting and preserving our own rights without reflecting or acknowledging how those rights can be transformed into massacre and madness in the hands of certain people; not willing to sacrifice our rights and our privilege for the sake of the common good so people can enjoy an outdoor concert, so kindergarteners can go to school to learn and teachers can go to school to teach, and ministers and congregants can have Bible study on a Wednesday night without losing their lives.
What most of us don’t understand about privilege is that we also can give up or sacrifice our own privilege for the sake of someone else. It isn’t that we lose our own voices, not that we speak on behalf of people whose experiences we haven’t had, but rather that we sacrifice what we think we deserve knowing that by sacrificing we, in turn, give someone else an opportunity, a chance, and indeed hope.
Most of us aren’t willing to do this.
Most of us aren’t willing to give up our privilege for the sake of other people’s safety or other people’s well-being because we’ve been taught in this individualistic culture that is America to stand up for ourselves, our beliefs, and our rights, which requires competing and ultimately trampling other people.
I have a right to bear arms as an American, but I give up that right.
I give up that right out of respect for the families who lost their children at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the ones who survived and relive that trauma in their dreams and in their flashbacks for the rest of their lives.
I give up that right out of respect for the families who lost their loved at Bible Study and the ones who survived and relive that trauma in their dreams and in their flashbacks for the rest of their lives.
I give up that right out of respect for the 59 people killed last night and over 500 people injured, fighting for their lives, and for the ones who survived and relive that trauma in their dreams and in their flashbacks for the rest of their lives.
I give up that right to try to solve the problem of gun violence and the fear and division it causes in our country.
What will you do with your right?