Misery found in a gun
The shooting at Fort Hood, Texas was a tremendously terrible tragedy. Families lost their loved ones who had been, albeit sometimes reluctantly, given their blessings to serve in the military. I myself was stationed at Fort Hood while serving in the U.S. Army, back in the '70s. (That was back when a usual Texan sport was for good ole boys to hop in their pickup trucks at night with their rifles and shoot at people of color on the streets.) One day, out at the rifle range, a soldier abruptly got tackled and was carted away by the military police for turning his M-16 away from the targets and toward us instead. One day, a soldier with his M-16 gas-powered, air-cooled, semi-automatic weapon entered the headquarters company building, where I was in my office. However, as the soldier rounded the wall, the top sergeant saw the barrel of his rifle and instantly grabbed it, with outstanding alacrity per his Vietnam experience, and thus saved the day. I'm one of many people who are lucky to be alive.
I've wished to increase public awareness about the statue of the man with a gun atop Carter Memorial Fountain in the Ashland plaza. My hope is to inspire those with the wherewithal to get that statue replaced. There is only misery to be found at the opposite end of a gun, and the barrel's just exactly what people gaze into as they take a drink. It's not a funny joke, it's not "traditional," and it's just not OK. That statue is speaking a dead language. People accuse Medford of being "less sophisticated" than Ashland, but that couldn't be so, in view of the evidence that they have a magnificent bronze statue of a man thoughtfully playing chess, while ours is of a leering common idiot wielding a gun.
Boundaries a hallmark
Boundaries are a hallmark of a thriving family. When a rebellious son or daughter disrupts and menaces an entire household, beleaguered parents agonizingly determine that the troublemaker, though loved by them more than life itself, must be barred from their home until ready to seek forgiveness, make restitution and submit to their authority.
Now imagine money has been stolen from your safe. The judge requires the perpetrator to reimburse you. Curiously, the only payment method acceptable to this particular court is cash. The defendant has no cash. Asking that the fine be waived, he expressed remorse and promises never to do it again. His request is refused. The defendant's dismay suddenly turns into surprise, relief and thankfulness, when a stranger pays the entire amount in full.
Boundaries are a hallmark of God's family also. Although many people assume that they are acceptable to God, they don't realize that if one has ever taken something without permission, they're a thief; or told an untruth, they're a liar; or "¦ well, you get the idea. Jesus said if a person even looks on someone with lust that they've committed adultery. The Bible says that thieves, liars and adulterers won't gain admittance into God's perfectly sin-free heaven.
Although God requires offenders to humbly seek his forgiveness and submit to his loving authority, he also requires restitution. But people don't have the only payment method acceptable to God: the shed blood of Jesus. When we were all without hope, Jesus (God the son) willingly shed his life's blood on the cross, paying for all our sins (past, present and future), thus making eternal life available for all who would trust in him and receive this free gift. Questions or comments: e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letters at length, November 11
Misery found in a gun