Around midday on Tuesday, March 23, our friend came into the church office. He stopped by to update us on his quiet battle.
With lots of deep thinking, anguish, and prayer, his best friend, his wife, is now living in a facility to help manage her memory loss. Even though this was the right decision, I know our friend’s heart is crushed.
A couple of months ago, a dear friend who had retired to Arkansas called me. My friend faced a quiet battle too.
She described her courtroom appearance before a judge to have her daughter committed. All other options in trying to help the daughter manage her mental health had failed. I could hear the hurt in her heart.
Somewhere today in America, a student will confront a quiet battle— a dangerous environment at home. With the student’s heart pounding, words will pour out to a school counselor.
Quiet battles are all around us.
We all have them.
There is no immunity.
The toughest of those quiet battles are the ones that keep overloading the wiring inside a person. Eventually, the wiring snaps. When wiring snaps, all rational thinking is gone, there is no turning back, and in a blink 18 people in Atlanta and Boulder are senselessly killed.
We think another foolish tragedy.
We move on in our numbness.
These tragedies are soon to be forgotten.
That is until the next quiet battle snaps and more lives are altered forever.
When are we going to wake up?
The real question is do we want to wake up and change?
Frankly, I’m not sure we want to wake up and change.
Any number of statistical studies indicate that the number of firearms owned in the United States is more than our population.
Try as we might, I’m not sure we can legislate our way out of this mess. We already have multiple federal, state, and local laws about firearms.
I’m no Einstein, but it appears to me that we need to legislate our minds, our hearts, our souls.
How did we become so brazen with our thinking to believe that pulling a trigger can solve all our problems?
What inside that trigger puller made that person believe— this is my chance, I’ll show them, I’ll get even, no more pushing me around, I’ve had enough.
Some people find reasonable ways to resolve these internal conflicts.
For others, the internal raging continues. The overloaded wiring circuits continue to push their irrational thinking. When that circuit breaker trips for this person, there is no turning back.
We talk a lot about mental health in our country. Our tax dollars are often spent on senseless pursuits.
What might happen if we stop talking about mental health and pursue reinvesting and improving our mental health infrastructure and services?
Don’t people in quiet battles deserve the opportunity to address their mental health?
America, aren’t we better than this?
Don’t we respect and value the fragility of life?
Aren’t we tired of these ridiculous headlines?
Shouldn’t we be disgusted and ready to say enough?
I have seen first hand the impact of a cherished love one being killed from the firing of a gun.
From what I have seen for the family who experienced this loss— the grieving has not stopped, sleep is unsettled, the mind still questions, the heart is broken, and the soul is empty forever.
America our quiet voices need to be heard.
At this very moment, someone’s quiet battle has snapped.
The predictable, repetitive headline will reappear—Another Senseless Tragedy For America.
That headline should repulse our hearts.
Why doesn’t it?