In March, we celebrate several people/events of note. Can you identify them by these hints? 1) “Green Eggs and Ham” and “Hop on Pop” 2) Thank you for showing up. 3) Girls throwing rocks 4) Put daylight in a bank. 5) Little green men, hops and rocks 6) Global thirst 7) Do what you want to do. (Answers at the bottom)
by Freddie Jordan
While we celebrate certain events and people this month, we should celebrate our families every day.
In December 2017, a member of my family was the victim of gun violence. As per statistics, someone he knew was the perpetrator.
We have no shortage of conversation about gun rights, lobbyists, amendments issues and the like. Gun control is a divisive issue. It can be political and often self-serving. Yet, we have evidence that responsible action can happen at the policy level.
New policies can help
For example, when a “shoe bomber” attempted to blow up a plane, the action created policy changes in the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). And it exposed airline travelers to sometimes unreasonable search and seizure.
I recall having to throw away newly purchased items at security because of size restrictions. I saw a mother having to throw away her breast milk as she pleaded with TSA officers. It did not work—and she had to dump the milk for her baby.
So, policy can be one of several ways to respond to such an urgent and timely need.
A matter of the heart
Most perpetrators of gun violence are not concerned about policy. In fact, some suffer from mental illness. Hate also can manifest itself in assault.
Gun violence can be a matter of the heart as well. When people feel unwelcome, devalued or mistreated, they might be open to assaulting others.
As Apostle Paul tells us, love is the first fruits of the spirit, followed by joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
This is the foundation of the church. The fruits of the spirit listed by Paul improve the health of the church body and build up the membership numerically and spiritually. Without the fruits of the spirit, our gospel is ineffective.
The power of love
In our communities, we must open our doors and our hearts to opportunities for peace. It is not enough to love our neighbor as ourselves. We must model that love in showing mercy and loving-kindness.
My prayer is that there is a turnaround of our culture and church community and that we realize all lives matter. The power of love within is greater than all the chaos in the cosmos.
Freddie Jordan serves as secretary for Women of the ELCA’s executive board. She is a member of St. Philip Evangelical Lutheran Church in Columbus, Ohio. She serves as an adjunct faculty of chemistry at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. Download free Women of the ELCA resources on gun violence.
Answers: 1) Dr. Seuss’ birthday 2) Employee Appreciation Day 3) Women’s History Month 4) Daylight Saving Time 5) St. Patrick’s Day 6) World Water Day 7) Make up Your Own Holiday