Driving along Hgy 35 north toward Minneapolis, we are listening to the news on MPR. We hear that a small child has been killed in a night time shooting in North Minneapolis, the second in a few weeks. The first one was three years old; this one was five. He was sleeping on the couch in his own home. There were four other children in the house.
So, what does one pray now? For the mother? God, yes. I am a mother and a grandmother. When things like this happen, I always connect. What about the uncle telling the story? He thinks the shooter was going for someone who was no longer in the house. He talked about the little boy. The boy had a soul just like my grandchildren have souls. He was playful. He was curious as five-year-olds are. He was gone.
As for the other children, I thought about all the other nights they will have to go to sleep. Last night. Tonight. The nights all the rest of their lives. Will their little friend die in their dreams again? Will they themselves die in their dreams? Will they carry guns when they get older? Probably. Will they die on the streets?
In praying the other day, I thanked God for all those who come through, who do their jobs, who bring joy and healing into the world. This is a story of all those who don’t do their jobs. Political leaders who argue endlessly about funding, media producers who don’t care about the effect of violence in their work, about people who think handguns should be available to anyone who wants them. about gangs, the economy, racism, slum lords, drug dealers, those of us too busy to do anything about all this stuff…who do you blame? I don’t know. I feel too hopeless. It is too late for prayer, it seems. A little boy died.