I can’t watch anymore

I can’t watch any more. I dread turning on the news because I never know if there will be more pictures of flashing lights, tear-stained faces, people huddled with their arms around each other, more anguished parents and more heart-broken children.

I can’t listen any more as yet another mayor states (correctly) that this town is a nice town, a peaceable town, maybe the safest town in America.  And the mayor can’t imagine – how could anyone –  that something like this could happen here.

I can’t listen again as earnest reporters ask breathless and pointless questions. What was going through your mind? Can you describe how you were feeling? What was it like?

I can’t hear again how this gun or that piece of equipment was legally bought but illegally used. Or how this legally purchased weapon was illegally modified to increase its killing power.

I can’t listen to another devastated parent tell the world about their beloved child and just how loved, precious, and treasured that child is. I don’t even want to hear about the heroics of the first responders who bravely, incredibly, run toward gunfire instead of to safety. I can’t look at the pain etched on faces of police officers as they describe their colleague as a “cop’s cop.”

I don’t want to see another homemade memorial with flowers and candles and teddy bears, marking lives interrupted. And I can’t even listen to “Amazing Grace” (a hymn I used to love with its profoundly meaningful history) that has been taken over as the official mourning cry of a nation who doesn’t know how else to respond.  No matter how well sung, the song grates on my nerves as we mourn our dead but seem paralyzed as to other responses or solutions.

It happens again and again and again.

I am so tired.  I can’t watch. i can’t listen.

Because I know exactly how it will look.  I know precisely what people will say.

And I am so tired of it all.

The Rev. Eric Anderson wrote a song that expresses my thoughts beautifully. He writes, “I wrote this song after Las Vegas, and fifty-nine candles blazed across the front of our church. I recorded it after Parkland. I could have sung it again LAST WEEK. I don’t want to light another candle.”

I will think and I will pray.

I will work for gun control.

But I won’t watch those images any more.