Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2012 Nancy Virden
Today’s guest blogger is Matt Moore, responding to the 2012 mass shootings in Chardon, OH; Oakland, CA; Tulsa, OK; Seattle, WA; Aurora, CO; Oak Creek, WI; Minneapolis, MN; Clackamas Town Center, OR; and on the day of this writing, Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown,CT.
“I am very upset to hear the news of this shooting right now, and I’m going to write a long Facebook post so that I can share a couple quotes right now from people I respect.
The first is from Quentin Tarantino, as spoken by the character Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction. “I’m going to go medieval on his ass.” This is my gut, that we need to find these shooters, literally string them up and painfully kill them in a town square somewhere. I want them punished for causing so much pain and suffering to the families and students and teachers. This monster inside me roars for blood.
Thankfully, though, as my pulse slows and I feel the sorrow, deep sorrow that these events cause, I realize that publicly torturing people to death didn’t prevent crime in medieval England, it didn’t stop “heresy” in the times of the Inquisition, and its still not stopping hand-holding in Saudi Arabia. Revenge is our nature, but it is not our better nature.
The second quote is from Alistair Begg, a nationally known preacher here in Cleveland. One day as I was tuning the radio dial, I heard him say, so clearly, “There are people out there that are hanging on by a THREAD. You are the only person who is in their lives, and they are depending on you to be Christ’s love to them.” These killers, I’m sure, are hanging on by a thread. Their internal lives must be so torturous, so broken, that their demons drive them to seek relief and release through the murder of innocents. We all know people on the fringes, on the edges, who are haunted and twisted inwardly.
You can flee these people hanging by a thread, or you can be the love of Christ to them. Whether you believe in God’s amazing, transforming power or not, I hope you recognize the power of a kind word, an invitation to dinner, or a short conversation in the elevator.
I know, in my heart, that I could go medieval on their ass, or at least watch someone else give it a go, but I also know that there is no change in this world except through love and prayer. There are people in your lives hanging on by a thread. Be Love to them.”
NOTE: I am not a trained or licensed mental health professional. I am not a doctor. I speak only from my experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.