I have so many drafts of this… I can’t figure out what to say, but I’m confident I need to say something. Since yesterday I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out first, if I should engage, and if so, how. There’s this paralyzing internal tug-of-war between knowing something is wrong and the inability to fix it. Mix in the sharp pain of “but I have to do something” and that pretty much encompasses the last few hours.

I want to grieve, to make room in my mind for what’s important, and it’s not answers. There are no answers that can be given to make any of this settle peacefully. The reality is that many people are gone because someone decided they didn’t deserve to be here anymore. It’s an ‘us vs. them’ mentality that’s becoming more and more prominent. The Them and Us shift and change name, but the argument doesn’t.

I’ve said this several times in response to many other tragedies: I have to do something. Often that sentiment becomes steps taken, but met with closed doors. And instead of knocking or trying another door, I retreated and settled into my safe, predictable, well-worn ‘home’. No, I haven’t fruitless, but I’ve keep my basket small and I’ve stayed in my own garden. I should have kept knocking. I may not always be welcomed, but I’m not empty handed and if I’m committed to what I say I am, then an inconvenienced and bruised ego is worth it.

Anything I have to spare isn’t of much value to anyone. Spare time, spare change, spare prayers, spare thoughts, spare passion, spare commitment; all of the things I decided to give because I wasn’t using them. I’m not educated in tragedy (really, who is?) I don’t know that statistics, I haven’t conducted interviews or read all of the books. I don’t have the money to fill the hole of a missing loved one. I don’t even have all the perfect Bible verses memorized to say at the right moments, Stigma be damned:

Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT)

36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

All other so called rules and guidelines bow to these two things, as I need to do. If my safety opposes it, I need to choose this. If my dreams oppose it, I need to choose this. If my loved ones oppose it, I need to choose this. If my lack of anything opposes it, I still need to choose this.

My impulse is to say I’m sorry, doesn’t ease anyone’s pain and I hold no responsibility, but I still want to say it. I need to take claim over what I am able. I’m small, but I have this. I have a voice, I have a mind, I have a heart, I have a will. I choose to pick up my journey of knocking on doors. I have to have faith that the right one will be opened and I won’t have all I want to walk through it but, I’ll have all I need. That even if it looks like I’m alone, I’m not. That even when it looks like I’m on the wrong side, I’m not. That even when it looks like I’m useless, I’m not.