Let Us Mourn; Let Us Grieve. Let Us Change the World. This is holy.

“A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.” -Jeremiah 31:15

Litany of Lament
(Episcopal Church, Enhancing our Worship vol. 5)

God, hear our prayer
And let our cry come to you.
Merciful God, we come to you in sorrow. Help us to grieve; let our tears flow; and look upon our broken hearts. God, hear our prayer,
And let our cry come to you.
We have lost children. We have lost hope. We have lost our way. Consider our losses. God, hear our prayer,
And let our cry come to you.
Our faith has been shaken. We are haunted by memories and weighed down with guilt. We are sick with sadness, weak with despair. Help us know your presence. God, hear our prayer,
And let our cry come to you.
In our suffering, we turn away from those who suffer also. Our bonds have been strained, one with another. Show us your compassion and help us forgive others and feel their sorrows. God, hear our prayer,
And let our cry come to you.
[We longed for these children, but wickedness has betrayed our hopes. Help us to honor them, and trust in your faithfulness. God, hear our prayer,]
And let our cry come to you.
Help us envision a future filled with promise, even if we cannot know what lies in store for us. Help us have confidence in your love as we take each new step. God, hear our prayer,
And let our cry come to you.

“The families of those involved in the Texas school shooting were asked to give DNA swabs to help identify victims…”

It’s a headline no one should have to read, but every American must read. The title comes from a report written by Senior Breaking News Reporter for Insider, Cheryl Teh. The brutal and raw headline sums up the article succinctly. The first line reads:

Families of those involved in the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, were asked to give DNA samples to help investigators identify victims.

Cheryl Teh, “The families of those involved…,” Insider, May 2022.

The report discusses how the use of DNA to identify remains is generally reserved for incidents, such as natural disasters, when bodies are not easily identifiable. Gently put, it is safe to assume many victims of the recent elementary school massacre were unrecognizable.

Like many Americans, I have wept and hurt for those lost and left behind. As a parent, I can’t imagine the horror of losing my children to gun violence. Especially so young and while at one of few places which should be safest for them. Regardless of how near or far I am from understanding the profound suffering of those parents who stare into empty bedrooms belonging to the children so cruelly ripped away from them, I am nevertheless filled with rage.

When is enough, enough? How many people–children–have to die before America can finally admit to its gun problem? This fetish has taken too many lives. How woeful and tragic it is that we have placed guns above the lives of our children. Dead. Never to dream or laugh or play or have hope in the future again.

Where is the outrage? Where is the outpouring of anger over the lies and propaganda that have led an entire segment of America to be okay with blood on their hands just as long as they don’t have to change–or, more importantly, think about what it is they stand with and for?

Midterm elections are drawing quickly upon us. Remember this horror. Remember your outrage. Remember who stood in the way of everything which could have prevented this tragedy. Let our vote be our voice. Let it speak our condemnation on those who sacrifice our children for profit.

But, most importantly, remember:

Families of those involved in the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, were asked to give DNA samples to help investigators identify victims.

Cheryl Teh, “The families of those involved…,” Insider, May 2022.