If I had a column in the Delft op Zondag

(Not the real)
Delft op Zondag


19 NOV 2017

DELFT - I lived in Texas for much of my adult life and most recently in a rural community outside Manvel, Texas, just off Highway 6. There were about 3,000 people there and one stop light when I first arrived. We had all kinds of churches for those who wanted a place to find welcome and a guide to a better life.

Religion is a strong part of Texas, and most places really, and came with the people who ended up there. The town where the shooting happened is in the fertile farming country between the Balcones fault (Dallas south to San Antonio) and the Gulf Coast. Most of my family is from that region. It was settled by immigrants from Europe, slaves from Africa, and the desperate from Asia and below the Rio Grande. The people I know from there are religious: my term is dirt-floor religious.

Taking Up the Cross


So many churches, hospitals, clinics, and schools are shot up or bombed so often that it becomes harder to feel sorrow. If it does not touch us directly, we have to move on with our own lives. Some, as in Sutherland Springs, Texas, took up the cross to express their faith. (Photo from the news.)

When the topic of gun control sprang up on the news of another shooting, the people of the area did not demand it. It seems that most had not made any change in their opinion about whether Americans may own a gun. They believe one should have that right. They do not think crazies should be allowed to own guns at all.

We live in a mega-data world where every bit of info about us is in a file on some server. Ask for 'Gary' and Google will provide what is out there on me. Holland just renewed my resident card to make it bio-metric. My medical history, licenses and banking are widely scattered but they are available. So, how hard is it to put together a national database of loonies? If a gun buyer must wait a few days to clear a check, so be it.

To me, it is a kind of religion that likes to stand firmly in touch with the ground. It likes things clear and solid, with nothing between. It is basic; thinks there is right and there is wrong. And a patient, loving God.

There were news photos at the time of the shooting in the church. Had some clerk mixed up one set with that from another tragedy, I would not have known. It happens too often. Each time, I look but can do nothing.

The church in Sutherland Springs reopened, the places of those killed were marked lovingly inside. Some chose to 'take up the cross'. It means to 'walk in the path of the Lord' to show one's humility and compassion.

Is it any different when it is a mosque that is shot up or bombed? It cannot be. People are hurt by what was done and need to express their belief in good, in their hope of something better than gross brutality.

It is hope for better that gets us past this dark to the clear light of day. The American singer, Frank Sinatra, was reported as saying: 'I'm for whatever gets you through the night'. He meant it well and to be forgiving.

G. Wiley / NLStrabo - © Copyright - All rights reserved - gwileynl@gmail.com
In memory of Herb Caen