Most of us don’t much care for Monday just because. Yep. Says it all, right? Work, the daily grind, routines, dealing with problems, and the people who want it yesterday already! What are they thinking, we’re magicians? Or they’re the only customer we have? Get a grip. And it’s not even 9 AM yet. This eight hour day is going to be a Bataan Death March to quitting time if it isn’t fueled by copious amounts of caffeine.
Monday after a national trauma is even worse. On Monday, September 11, 2001, my only thought coming into my office was to take care of the dead headlights on the church bus. It was a small thing, it was of no consequence. I hadn’t been listening to tv or radio. My plans changed from taking care of things to taking care of people.
This is another Monday, now remembered for the largest mass shooting in our beautiful America, a country founded on the principles of religious freedom and equality for all her people. While we’ve not always lived up to these lofty ideals, we are still going onto perfection.
Just because one person or a group of people may be fueled by hate doesn’t mean the rest of us should join them in their cesspool. This doesn’t mean we open ourselves up to harm, but we don’t have to hate, for this emotion will destroy our souls and empty our lives of joy.
My compassion and prayers go out to all who have lost loved ones in this tragedy, including the family of the shooter. I lost a mentally ill young daughter to a drug overdose. When we discover the background of this lone gunman, I suspect untreated mental illness will play a factor. We may discover this is another “suicide by cop” wrapped in lone gunman jihad mythology. This is a sadness, since many people with depression and other mental illnesses, myself included, live active and productive lives helping others in our messed up world.
As the chief cook in Cornie’s Kitchen, I can tell you when I get stressed over traumatic memories or undergo new new stressors, I go off my food plan big time. Does this mean I’m “bad?” No, but it is a sign I need to deal with my situation. Traveling home, I was listening to CNN on the radio. The longer I listened to them fill up the airways with words about nothing new, the hungrier for junk food I got.
I was carrying apples, but I didn’t eat them. I had cheese and whole grain crackers, but I didn’t break these out. I did eat my salad and chicken during the stretch of city road when I hit every single stop light. Once I made the interstate however, I was the junk food queen all the way home. Braumn’s brownie chocolate ice cream sundae with hot fudge syrup, nuts and whipped cream is definitely medicinal for soothing emotions. Much better than any drug and less risky than alcohol when driving. I cannot do this on a daily basis however.
Monday has come and gone. Even as I post this on Tuesday, we don’t know much more than we did yesterday about this horrific event. I only know I’m not afraid, for I believe and trust in God. I’ve been to the dark places and God was there. I’ve been to the high places, and God was already there. I’ve even said “God doesn’t exist,” but God still was there for me. This is what we mean by “God’s steadfast love endures forever.”
So after a traumatic day, God will be here the rest of the week, the month, the year, and forever. Be glad, hug your weird neighbors, your neighbors of color, your neighbors who eat different foods, and sit a spell in the Kitchen and tell one another about your day. Work to build bridges so people of peace can come together in our common humanity. Take care of one another, for we are all made in the image of God.
Love, joy and peace, Cornie.