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Dolphins make me cry

Over the past few days, I have been deeply saddened to hearing stabs against groups of people, generalizations that may be rooted in truth but have become a broad stroke that dominates a persons view of an entire people.

Tonight a story is flying around facebook that has made me deeply sad, mostly because it is close to home.

Tonight there was a shooting in my city. It only happened a couple of hours ago so there’s not that much to report on the event. It took place at a very public place where I used to frequent, probably one of the busiest places in the city. It happened in broad daylight. There are at least two victims.

It makes me sad to think of a life lost in this way. My heart aches for the friends and the parents of the two victims. My heart aches for the shooter too – what went wrong in his/her life that brought him/her to this point of desperation and violence?

Shootings aren’t anything new. This city is relatively safe. But there is something about being able to picture where it happened and knowing that I could have been there that hits home. And so I am grieved by this situation.

But there is something more that grieves me. In response to news articles, several people have made huge racial slurs, some even being bold enough to say that all non-whites should not be allowed into our country. As if white people are exempt from committing such horrible crimes. The news articles at this point say nothing about the identity of the shooter.

This week I have heard other slams – slams against all men, slams against gay and lesbians, slams against baby boomers, slams against refugees and immigrants, slams against those with mental health issues, slams against the poor.

Christ is clear: “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.” (Matthew 5:21-22). I think it is important to add that this anger is more than just a firey response to being hurt or injustice – feelings are feelings. When we are injured, anger is a normal response. Rather this is an anger that brews so deeply that it turns into ugly hate and contempt. This is not a fleeting feeling, but an insidious constant state of being that wishes ill on another person. There is a place for anger, and I’m coming to believe that anger plays an important role in healing from hurts and wounds. It also plays an important role in motivating people to stand up against injustice. But the anger that kills – whether it takes a life or not – is wrong. 

I have never murdered someone. But I have been angry, have even hated at times.

Tonight, I am confronted with two examples of anger gone bad: murder in the literal sense and murder in a figurative sense.

As I write these words, I am listening to a Martyn Joseph song called “Dolphins Make me Cry”. These words seem appropriate to finish this post with.

Don’t know what the world is going to do/ Or if we can get off the road that we’re on/ There’s hate in my brother’s eye but as the time goes by/ I get harder.

They say we learn by our mistakes and then we carry on/ Sometimes I’m not sure, sometimes I’m not sure/ There’s no brakes on this car as it rolls down the hill/ My muscles are straining now, my foot’s through the floor.

Don’t want to go to school anymore today/ Because history, she keeps on repeating herself/ She can’t forgive; she just licks all of her wounds/ Sore is the day, and sore is the night.

When I was a boy, when I was growing up/ I remember life was so simple; life was so sweet/ Now that I’m older, I’m wise as a fool/ I keep on breaking those golden, golden rules…

And perhaps that’s why, perhaps that’s why/ I see the dolphin and it makes me cry/ As I look in your eye, as I look in your eye/ As the time goes by, makes me cry.

Did you ever touch the loneliness of a broken man? Did you see a starving child die? Do we really do these things to one another? Do you see why…

Dolphins make… me cry.

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