None So Blind

There are none so blind as those who will not see. This phrase came to mind as I read and heard reactions to the mass shooting at the Parkland, Florida high school. There are people who will not see a connection between the easy access to assault-style weapons in the U.S. and the increasing number of mass killings in which military-style rifles were the chosen killing tool. Sadly, there are still people who will not see how inhuman it is to rush to the defense of an inanimate object when animate, human beings are slaughtered.

The responses to the latest massacre were predictable, almost as if people were reading from a script, perhaps a well-worn script handed to them by the national killing tool association. As Rolling Stones noted a couple of years ago, gun advocates make the same tired excuses every time there is a mass shooting. Guns don’t kill people; people kill people. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. It’s not a gun issue, it’s a mental health issue. The second amendment guarantees my right to bear arms!

The responses to mass shootings are predictable because the American culture is broken, sick, dysfunctional. Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear knows that there is something wrong with this country. We brag to the world about how great we are. We’re the land of the free and home of the brave! We’re the land of opportunity! Yet in the good old USA, a child cannot go to school without learning to hide from a gunman. And mind you, children are not hiding because of  foreign terrorists. They are hiding because of the threat of fellow Americans.

The second amendment was written to ensure that we have a well-regulated Militia. But the citizens of this country are not a well-regulated militia by any stretch of the imagination. Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear knows that gun violence is out of control.

Let me say it again. The United States of America is broken. Yet some people are just too selfish to make the sacrifices it will take to fix our brokenness. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Thoughts and prayers won’t fix it. Pretending that a person with a knife could cause the same level of carnage won’t fix it. Pretending this is just a mental health issue won’t fix it.

Since I first started blogging in 2012, I have written about gun violence nine times, including this post. Aurora. Sandy Hook. Las Vegas. Sutherland Springs.

Every time there is a mass shooting, I grieve, not just for the loss of lives and for the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, whose lives are ripped apart when a loved one is lost to gun violence. I grieve for my country – for the selfishness that causes people to turn a blind eye to the reality that we are faced with every time there is a mass shooting.

This country is broken. For the sake of our children, we need to fix it.

† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † †

Lord, have mercy

Christ, have mercy

Lord, have mercy on us.

Marching with Strength and Dignity

One year ago, I participated in the Denver Women’s march because I believe in the words on a Freedom poster that hangs on my bedroom wall: The struggle for freedom, equality and justice transcends race, religion, political affiliation and even death. I would add that the struggle also transcends gender. Although the struggle is ongoing, this year I marched to celebrate the strengths of women.

I am proud of the women who broke years of silence about sexual assault and harassment at the hands of powerful men. I am proud of the women who rallied to support them, giving credence to their stories. Those who abuse their power have been put on notice that women expect to be treated with dignity and respect. The silence breakers proved how powerful women can be when we stand together.

Last year, I carried a poster that said, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” This quote came from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who paraphrased the words of Theodore Parker, an abolitionist.

This year, when I thought about what to put on my poster, I initially wanted to express my anger at the “stable genius” who disparaged the people of Haiti and other countries with his profane comments. Though many people make the Women’s March about their opposition to him, for me, it is about strong women standing up for human rights.

When I searched for words about the strength of women, I found words that Solomon wrote long ago about a woman of noble character:

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

On the flip side of my poster, I wrote:

She is:

Compassionate, courageous, wise, strong, determined, gentle, tough, and


When I marched last year, I saw many people carrying posters with red, white and blue images of beautiful, diverse women: an African-American, a Latina, and a Muslim. I searched for Women’s March posters and found free downloadable We the People artwork. Since the inauguration, the images have been used as “symbols of hope to combat the rising power of nationalism, bigotry, and intolerance.”

I march to defend the dignity of all human beings, especially those considered unworthy by the president. I march because I want to protect the vulnerable, including the Dreamers. I march because love is greater than fear.

The Light of the World

Many names and phrases have been used to describe Jesus – the Messiah, Savior, Lord, Master, Teacher, Emmanuel (God with Us), the Lamb of God, the Prince of Peace, the Son of God, and the Son of Man. Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world.’  I love thinking of Jesus as light because his ways are such a dramatic contrast to the darkness of the world. The world seems darker to me now than it ever has; the contrast between Jesus and those who claim to follow him has never seemed starker.

In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. – John 1:4-5

Jesus warned about how bad things would be. He warned of false prophets. He warned of wolves in sheep’s clothing. He said that family members would turn against each other. He warned us to be on guard against deceivers.

I’ve grown accustomed to seeing a lack of reverence for God and Jesus from atheists. God isn’t real to them and the version of Christianity that most of them see isn’t real either. Too many people who claim to follow Jesus are just actors, hypocrites.

Jesus saved his harshest criticism for people who pretended to be righteous. Today, modern-day hypocrites are not just pretending to follow Christ, they are committing blasphemy, insulting or showing a lack of reverence for Jesus Christ, the Word who was with God from the beginning.

Below are some of the most offensive, outrageous words I’ve seen lately on social media. The author suggests that the president is a light, a savior against darkness. The author suggests that because the current Cabinet holds Bible studies, it does not have “complete disdain for everything right, everything good, for anything of God.” But the unrepentant president’s most ardent supporters display disdain for God as they lavish praise on a man who is the antithesis to the one true Light of the World, Jesus Christ.

Already a light has appeared. Just when it seemed the darkest, when evil and corruption were taking over our world and the weak and poor were being trampled on… the most unexpected thing happened. God entered into our world in the most unexpected way.

And even the most casual observer can tell which administration holds weekly Bible studies and which administration had complete disdain for everything right, everything good, for anything of God.

Author – unknown blasphemer

The one true light of the world entered the world in an unexpected way, as a humble, servant leader. The devil offered to give him all the kingdoms of the world and Jesus said no. Instead, he endured ridicule, beatings and death on a cross to demonstrate his love for the world.

The light of the world said that the greatest commandment of all is to ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The light of the world said to do to others as you would have them do to you. He said to love your enemies and bless those who curse you.

The light of the world did not seek revenge against his enemies. He did not make fun of the disabled. He did not try to enrich himself on the backs of his creditors. He did not abuse and demean women. He did not lie.

I write all of this because Jesus is the light of the world. The message of Jesus is love. If what you’re hearing from anyone who claims to be righteous does not reflect light, it is not of God.

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. ( 1 John 1:5-6)

The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. (1 John 2:4-6)

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. (1 John 2:9)

Glory to the light of the world.




Can There Be Joy in the Darkness?

This is the time of year when I am normally filled with the joy of the Christmas season. To be honest, I don’t feel much joy this year. My faith is as strong as it has ever been. But it feels like greed is winning. It feels like corruption is winning. It feels like dishonesty is winning. The wolf doesn’t even pretend to wear sheep’s clothing and yet he’s managed to lead believers astray. At a time when I should be celebrating my savior’s birth, I feel overwhelmed with sadness for my country.

One day last week, I prayed that God would reveal my sins to me and by the end of the day, I had an answer. The answer was this: you’re losing your joy. I know this is true but how do I find it again? If I shut myself off from hearing bad news, if I close my eyes to the darkness, I risk becoming numb to the suffering of others. The only thing I can do is draw closer to the Light, to the source of my joy and my hope for humanity.

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

Jesus, you said: blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. I mourn the loss of decency. I mourn the lack of truth. I mourn the death of righteousness. Injustice grieves me. The lack of mercy for refugees and the poor grieves me. My heart breaks for the things that break yours.

Lord, how do I mourn all that has been lost and still hang on to the joy of my salvation?

Lord, comfort me and restore my joy.

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

Jesus, no matter how dark things seem, you are still the Light of the world.

The world and its desires will pass away, but your love endures forever.

Your word lives in me. I live by your truth.

This it the truth you gave me: we should love one another.

This is how I know what love is: you laid down your life for us.

Lord, comfort me and restore my hope.

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and our staff, they comfort me.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.







I Don’t Know You

I don’t know you, though I once thought I did. We grew up in similar communities with  similar cultural influences. We were taught the same moral values. A man is only as good as his word. Honesty is the best policy. Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. Treat others the way you want to be treated. It is more blessed to give than to receive.

I don’t know you, though I once thought I did. We confess the same faith. We read the same Bible. We sing the same songs of worship and pray to the same God. You say you were saved by the Messiah and proudly identify yourself with the name Jesus Christ. But you are a modern-day Pharisee. You claim to be righteous and law-abiding, but neglect the more important matters of God’s law – justice, mercy and faithfulness.

I don’t know you, though I once thought I did. I used to see you as a brother or sister in Christ. But somewhere on the narrow path, I lost sight of you. You heard the same Good News I did, but instead of taking root in your heart, the seeds fell on the path and the evil one came and snatched them away.

I don’t know you, though I once thought I did. We’ve both heard the Sermon on the Mount. Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are the merciful, blessed are the pure in heart, blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. But he came along promising a different kind of blessing – to “make American great again.” He served up a huge helping of wickedness and you gobbled it up as if you were starving. You were filled with resentment and selfishness.

The ties that once bound us in a community of faith were severed by a darkness I did not see coming. I mourn the connection we had before the evil one came along. It broke my heart to see you go. I pray that God will lead you back from the dark one’s side. God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

I pray that Jesus will be your moral compass, that his word will be a lamp for your feet and a light for your path.

I pray that the Spirit will speak to you with a still, quiet voice. I pray that you will hear His truth and understand with your heart.

Be still and listen, my friend.


The Sower (Sower with Setting Sun), Vincent van Gogh (1888), from Wikimedia Commons (public domain)