Friday, August 1, 2008

Looking for Peace

This week has been kind of strange. Since the church shooting, I have been very introspective. I didn't want to share here just because I wasn't really sure just how I was feeling. I have gone from sadness to joy to pride to anger to fear. Right now, I am hoping for distraction, looking for peace and understanding.

As I write, I will not give the shooter's name. I will not dignify him or give him respect by using his name. I want him to receive no attention as a result of this event. The media, as they seem to always do, have created a circus around the events at TVUUC here in Knoxville. They have "harrassed" the injured and their families and interviewed anyone that would talk to them, including the guy that sold the shooter the guitar case in which he carried his deadly shotgun. What the heck??????? But they are searching for answers just as everyone else struggles to do so. As a result of the media attention, the church has used phone trees to contact members directly, asking that we not leak memorial service information to the media. So sad.

After learning many of the details of what occurred in the church that day, it is amazing that more did not lose their lives. True heroes rushed the shooter to stop him. One, Greg McKendry, lost his life as a result. The shooter had over 70 rounds of ammunition and has said that he planned to kill many people that day. His reasons? He could not find a job, hated gays and lesbians, and blamed the liberal movement for his difficulties. He said he could not get to the elected liberals so he went after those that voted them into office. The irony? Most of those injured were not members of the church. They were visiting to see the children's play - either their grandchildren were performing or they were friends of those performing.

I was out of town this week and needed an update. I went on line to the website of one of the local TV stations and saw they were trying to explain what Unitarians believe. I began reading the comments below the article. They started off nice enough. "Our thoughts are with the families" and "We hope your members can have peace once again". Then it got ugly. "This is not a church, it's a cult" and "The devil always gets those who don't accept Jesus as their personal savior". I was appalled at the lack of knowledge and understanding and the level of cruelty people will go to in their efforts to feel holier than thou. I went through most of the 17 pages of comments and finally had to stop. I remembered that this was the reason I joined this church in the first place - their acceptance of all beliefs and people.

I will be attending the services this Sunday to reconsecrate the sanctuary. I have downloaded some of the podcasts of past sermons from our minister, Chris Buice, to bring me some peace. I need to hear his words. He is an amazing minister and teacher who always finds the words whether funny, sarcastic, calming, or profound to help you understand, whatever the subject.

I will be spending the weekend at a cabin in the mountains with friends. I will find peace there. I will think of those that were in the sanctuary that day. If I feel this way, it is unimaginable to me how they must feel. And maybe by Sunday night, after the services and a calm weekend, while I don't think I will find understanding, I hope to have forgiveness in my heart.

6 comments:

Wanda said...

Hi Sweet girlfriend~~ My heart aches with you. People and media can be so cruel in their words and lack of understanding.

I truly hope your weekend with friends at the cabin, the services you attend, and the words from your pastor give you the comfort you need at this time.

I will keep you in my heart and prayers.

BTW the Hygrangeas cards came today, I will be getting those in the mail to you next week.

Love and Hugs
Wanda

Tere said...

Thanks so much Wanda. Your words are always so comforting and you always seem to know just what to say. Thanks again.

Ruth D~ said...

I feel this with you. There is no logic to hate, and love always triumphs . . . but it's a long hard road in between the two. Please continue to share as you process this. So . . . words fail me. I care. That's all I can say. Take heart.

Wanda said...

Oh Tere ~~ I am such a ding*a*ling!!


Ready to mail your cards, and can't find your address. I had it on a piece of paper, and now I can't even find my old email that you gave it to me on.

Please forgive me, and send me your address again, and I promise I'll get those cards in the mail this week!!

Love and Hugs
Wanda

Wanda said...

You are not going to believe this~~~ I just found your address.... Please disregard the previous message, and be looking in your mailbox for a package from your ding*a*ling friend!!

Lots of Love
Wanda

Tere said...

Thanks everyone for your nice words and encouragement. Wanda - you crack me up. Love ya!