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Sometimes All You Can Do Is Pray

A doctor who performs late-term abortions is gunned down. In a church. While ushering.

A plane with over 200 passengers literally “falls off the radar screen” and disappears without little more than a signal regarding an electrical system failure.

What a way to start the week.

Dr. George Tiller was gunned down in the vestibule of his church. He performed late-term abortions. Mind you, my views on abortion are complex. I believe in the legal right to choose, but I pray that no woman makes that choice or has to make that choice, and I would not make that choice for myself although I have supported others who have. But no one should be able to shoot someone because they believe otherwise. I believe torture is illegal, but you don’t see me packing weapons and heading off to Tricky Dick Cheney’s house.

I think of my last remaining biological uncle on my mom’s side, the last of my mom’s siblings still living, and the fact that, more often than not, he and my aunt can be found at the entrance of their church on Sundays, smiling, ushering, welcoming others to worship, praise and/or discover God in all his goodness. I think of my friend whose views on abortion, gay rights and the like are so diametrically opposed to mine, yet she, too, spends most Sundays at the entrance of her church as head of her usher board, smiling and welcoming others to fellowship, praise, and just know God.

No one expects to be shot while ushering. What kind of demon would shoot someone in a house of worship? If I had my way, there would be special circumstances enhancements for crimes committed in houses of worship. But that probably violates the Constitution . . . .

When I think of those 228 souls lost somewhere in the Atlantic, I wonder: Were they ever told that there are portions of the Atlantic where there is no radar coverage? Would they have agreed to take THAT flight on THAT route if they had known? I flew from the U.S. to Spain and back while in college, and I doubt my parents would have agreed had they known that, for some portion of the trip, my plane would not have been visible on a radar screen. And that was in 1984.

If Google Earth can zero in on my house, why is there any part of the Earth where we can’t keep track of an airplane? You mean we can get to the moon, but we can’t track planes everywhere in the world? That just doesn’t make sense to me.

Then again, so much doesn’t make sense to me these days. I now realize the wisdom of the elders who, when faced with disturbing circumstances, say, “Well, sometimes, all you can do is pray.”

Indeed.

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