Dystopia – an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives.
Baptismal Covenant – will you respect the dignity of every human being?
Ever since last Friday I have been reflecting on these two different frames of reference towards humanity. I was with our younger son, Gage, working outside and like the rest of the world trying to make sense of the mass shootings in Colorado.
Our conversation quickly turned to the value of human life. We pondered why it was that some of humanity sees intrinsic worth in others and conversely there are those who see no value in the rest of the human race. We wondered at what point – from the beginning of their life, after a significant tragic event, years of feeling undervalued or disrespected, some combination – does a person begin to dehumanize others.
I know in my own journey times that I have been treated disrespectfully, diminished and demeaned by others. Yet, deep within my core I know that I am loved. How is this so? Well, I’ve been blessed beyond measure by the love of family and friends. And unquestionably, that is the greatest manifestation of the love I feel. However, by grace and the outreached hands of the faithful, I know that I am a beloved child of God. But I am also acutely aware that I do not have the corner on the market – all are beloved children of God.
My prayers for the victims of this horrific event is that they are surrounded by those who will show them and assure them that they are God’s beloved. I also pray for the young man who caused this tragedy that he may discover or re-discover that he, too, is a beloved child of God.