Homage – I Do Not Have Words to Understand This

Random acts of violence are random. Their very randomness is what makes them so overwhelmingly scary. Their very randomness means that we are all potential targets, and we are all potential victims. Random violence makes me feel that we are all below the apex on a food chain that has nothing to do with nature or nourishment. Sometimes I think if I can only place these acts or these perpetrators in some categorical rationality that I will be able to avoid becoming a victim myself, that I might keep these perpetrators from knifing down my children or your children. I think if I can just do this or not do that, that I can keep myself and others safe, but such is not the domain of random horror.  Sometimes I think that if we can find the general cause, we can stop this in the future. But…the world that “is” is not the world that “ought to be”. Randomness and chaos are synonyms – they are what was here before there was a “here”, and they clamber up from under the floorboards, jaws agape, reminding us that though God is very much at work here, God is not finished with this world yet. I have been silent on this senseless slaughter because I do not have words to understand these things. I don’t know any category to put this in. I have no salve that will heal the kind of wounds that the violent death of a child or a husband or wife or friend tears into people. I do NOT understand. I pray that none of us were made to understand such things.

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