A phrase that was originally used to describe the beginning on the American Revolutionary War, and later the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, we talk about the “shot heard ‘round the world” as something that shifts the scales. A tiny little act that somehow magnifies and grows into an amazing shift of paradigms and culture. Henrik Ibsen, one of the earliest feminist playwrights took this phrase to new levels in his play Hedda Gabbler in which his heroine shoots herself rather than suffer the iniquities of a quiet domestic life incongruent with her own character.
(not actually sure I use “incongruent” correctly there but it sounds good)
In the more recent history of the United States we have a whole series of shots that were heard in the hollow echoing through a high school called Columbine. That hollow echo wasn’t so much heard as it was felt in the same way you feel a bell ring if you stand close enough to it. We felt it in our bones, and we’re feeling it again in a Gardena, CA High School.
The News tells us that it was an accidental shot. A jostled backpack and a stray bullet left two students in critical condition and two families anxiously hovering as close as the hospital will allow them. And I know that Jesus is there among them sharing in their pain and worry. I pray that His healing hand lay on these kids and they come through stronger and more hopeful than ever before. I pray that He guides the doctors and nurses watching over these two and that no more harm come to them as they recover.
But I also pray for the kid who brought the gun in. What pain is he dealing with that a gun was the best way to deal with it? What hopelessness is he staring into? Now that he’s been arrested, how will he cope? Will this make him or break him? Dear Lord Jesus, be with him as much as you are with his unintended victims and grant him the succor he so desperately seeks.
And I wonder how many times Jesus has sat with the victim and the attacker saying to both “I got you. I’ll take care of you.”
I wonder how many times Jesus has had to hurt because of the eventual outcome of those situations.
I wonder if that scar where the spear hit him looks more like a bullet wound these days.
I wonder if the sound of a gunshot heard on earth, is actually the sound of His breaking heart in heaven.