Connections

I couldn’t be more distant from the gun violence in a major urban area. That was brought home listening to a sterling public radio interview this morning about violence in Chicago. Kids are dying before they reach their teen years.

It set me to boiling. Violence is a plague. Guns extend the range of violence. People die.

Here, in my bustling little town, a group of high-schoolers gather for a team photo and I’m there worrying about the old batteries in a aged flash whose on/off switch wore out long ago.

That’s a far cry from the woman who opens her home to 50 kids with issues and ticks off recent deaths of kids she knows,. kids who will won’t be in any group photos any more.

The arguments over the rights to own guns and other types of shouting matches in our present political reality will not get to the heart of the matter.

But, the person who opens a home, naively, at first, finds out that there is one more safe haven. Other homes, churches, schools, and other locations become safe (as much as is possible) havens, where young and old are invited to put violence aside and explore other options to resolve issues.

The woman in Chicago, the youth worker in a court system in Iowa, the choir director in a small church, a teacher in a classroom, the proprietor of the local coffee shop, each is making connections with others, and it is those connections that offer ways to reduce the violence.

Alienation, soul-sickness are at the root of the violence that ends life. The woman in Chicago gets it. So should we all. I hope I can be part of what it takes to offer alternatives.

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