Original Posting At http://lenguadelaz.blogspot.com/2012/12/we-wait-for-whole-story.html
I spent Friday December 14th in my car, traveling from Dallas, TX to Knoxville, TN to visit my family. I first heard about the shooting in Newtown when I stopped for gas and checked my facebook while waiting for the gas to finish pumping. I knew little to no details. The extent of my information came from my facebook newsfeed.
I arrived in Knoxville around 7:00 and spent the evening eating dinner, opening Christmas presents from my grandmother, and catching up on how my family has been doing. We did not talk about the shooting and when it came up on the news I decided to turn it off and go to bed.
I slept in Saturday morning and most of the day was spent getting ready for a Christmas party we were having that evening. I again refrained from watching any news coverage or reading any articles/blogs about the event. Instead I spent the day being thankful for my friends and family who I spent the day with.
Sunday I went to church, watched football, and finally, at the end of the day, I watched the first news segment on the Newtown shooting. I had not avoided the coverage in order to deny or pretend it never happened, but because I am disturbed by the kind of coverage that is shown. Kids were asked to give first hand accounts, former classmates, teachers, and bus drivers that had not seen Lanza since he was 14 years old described what kind of person he was. The media sought out whatever information they could gather whether true or not. The media is not entirely to blame though, because if people were not watching and reading, they would not be reporting.
I was glad that I had waited so long to watch the news because the segment I watched began “We told you that Adam Lanza’s mother was a teacher at the school. We said that he had no trouble entering the school because they recognized him. We also said that he had targeted his mother’s class room and fired off handguns at the children and teacher. We know now” he continued, “that none of that information is true”. In their haste to get information to the public, they had misinformed them about many aspects of the event.
How often is this the case? We are so impatient and so desperate for information that we’re willing to run with the first bit of information we have, regardless of if it is true or not. We went to war over faulty information that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Time and time again in the election cycle both candidates took incomplete information and ran with it whether it was Romney’s campaign talking about Jeep moving production to China or the Obama campaign talking about how Romney wants to fire Big Bird. Even when Marcus Lattimore was hurt I heard the next day that he had torn all 4 CLs and broken his tibia and fibula when it turned out he had no broken bones and the CL damage was not what everyone had expected.
In this time of advent we are reminded to wait patiently. While waiting for the coming king and messiah, many were hoping and praying for a sword wielding David. A king that would come and vanquish evil and everyone who commits evil. They would be safe from violence because they would have a violent warrior as king. Instead, the Christ came to the world as a humble baby in a manger. Christ would demonstrate an urgent patience that confused the world and continues to leave us baffled centuries later.
This advent whether it is good news or bad that we are waiting for, may we do so with patience. Let us not be so hasty in our assumptions and thirst for knowledge that we will settle for anything less than a vulnerable baby that would grow to be a vulnerable God nailed to a cross. Friday many around the nation were fearful and anxious about the news of what had happened, how many had been killed, what weapon did he use, how did he get the weapons, and why on earth did he do it. Some of those questions have been answered, some of those will soon be answered, and others will never be answered. Rather than sitting in fear and anxiety over what we can not control, let us act on what we can control.
While we respond to the events that happened on Friday and prepare for the coming of Christ next Tuesday, let us do so with patience. Pray for those who are in pain over the losses they have experienced. Pray for students, teachers, and parents who are now afraid to enter the doors of their schools. Pray for violence to cease. Pray to a God who came into a violent world and died a violent death not to perpetuate violence but to end it. Although I have opinions on the matter I am not writing this to take a stand on either side of gun control. Not everyone stands against guns but all can agree to stand against violence, to stand against oppression, to stand against fear, to stand against poor treatment of the mentally ill.
In all cases I hope that we can patiently wait for the whole story. The whole story of Adam Lanza’s life. The whole story on mental illness in the US. The whole story on gun culture. The whole story on safety in schools. The whole story of Christ in a manger. The whole story of Jesus living a life of peace and reconciliation. The whole story of him giving his life as a sacrifice. The whole story of him not remaining in the tomb but rising again. The whole story of a New Heaven and a New Earth.
So now, in the season of advent, the season of uncertainty, we wait. We wait not with a passive patience, but with urgent patience that was demonstrated by Christ. An urgent patience to work towards the very peace we wait for.