What is home to you? In your life, what is the one place that you go that you feel welcomed, where you belong, and is a safe place?
For a lot of you who read NotofTheNorm, you call Michigan your home. Michigan is the place where I feel like I am welcomed, and that I feel like I belong. Grand Rapids, to me, is home. But how would we feel if someone attacked our home, in our backyard, and destroyed our place of safety?
This past weekend, terrorism occurred in our backyard. Domestic terrorism. Kalamazoo, Michigan, to which a lot of us call home, and our neighbor, was viciously attacked, un-provoked, in which 6 people were killed, and from what I just read on my phone, a different shooting occurred tonight. I have seen the news in even the past few months, and years, of shooting that have happened everywhere, and I am guilty to say that I have become numb to it.
Terrorism is something that plagues our world. From Paris, to the middle-east, even New York, but it will never happen to us, right? When Paris was attacked, I remember one of my good friends reacting once I told her, and she responded with a face of “who cares?” or “cool story bro” in a sarcastic way, but was quickly convicted of her response and apologized because she realized something. She realized that, that is the instinctive reaction that our generation has put when something bad happens, but it doesn’t happen to us!
It has become a normal thing! Since when did someone being shot at be something that we have to get use to? When people, myself included, think of terrorism, I think of the middle-east, and the war going on, and 9/11. But if we think about it, this is getting closer to home. Our country is being plagued with violence.
We are in the middle of the war on terror. It is in our backyard. It isn’t just in Paris, or the middle-east, or even in New York. It is right here at home.
Our homes are at the risk of being attacked, unprovoked.
My good buddy Chris posted this morning on Facebook:
“The shootings last night didn’t occur “too close to home”. They occurred AT home for me and many of my loved ones. Times like these are shocking and terrible, but they remind me of the hope I have in Jesus, who will wipe every tear from our eyes.”
In the midst of our fears, our mourning, and our sin, God is still good. He is the ultimate provider, and He is the Lord that reigns over our lives, and our troubles.
Though it feels like the end is near as our country becomes worse, there is still a life to live for eternity. The bible describes our life on this Earth to be, “but a breath” compared to our lives in heaven.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4
Our jobs now, is to pray. Pray for our country, pray for Kalamazoo, and pray that our country will find love, and compassion with one another. Pray for the families and the community effected by this. And pray for the people who have done us wrong, and terrorize us, because though they have wronged us, they too are in need of God’s grace and love.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33
Paraphrasing Evan’s word’s when he wrote “Paris is Loved” about the terrorism in Paris:
“There will be pain, there will be suffering.
There is a love that holds the heart of the broken, a love that comforts the distraught, a love that longs for the people of Kalamazoo to rest and trust in it.
Today as we reflect on the tragedy of terrorism in Kalamazoo, rest in this Love that he provides for us.”
Jesus loves you. Stay strong Kzoo.