I remember where I was when Kurt Cobain died. I remember feeling my generation had lost an important voice. I remember the knot in my stomach for days. I remember going on the air that night (I was DJing then) and announcing his apparent suicide. I remember trying to conjure something authentic, hopeful, some tangible words of comfort. I loved Nirvana. Prayed for Kurt all the time. But that was years ago and time makes you forget. And then today, Amy Winehouse's death was announced and the memories came back around.
The 27 club. Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Cobain and now Amy Winehouse. The Doors frontman predicted it..."it's better to burn out then to fade away."
Today, with the news of a mass shooting in Norway, a car bombing there, trains derailing-32 dead in China, and Miss Winehouse's death heavy on my heart, I walked around New Orleans. I sulked through the D-Day exhibit, saw the worst of what men can do to each other, the death machines, the violated children, the death count unimaginable. I heard the tales of the heroes, the good guys, the liberators...I am thankful for their sacrifice but war stains everyone, scars nations for generations.
Child victim of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The war ended, but the wounds remain.
Later I saw the homeless as they slept under the interstate, as they lined up for a free meal, as they sat, staring blankly into the gray fog of despair and I teared up. I always tear up. I mean I can be in the middle of a crowd and see suffering and I'm choking back the tears.
Then I hear this man yelling at his son, his 4 year old son. And he says. Shut the hell up motherf*&%er" and I'm reeling from the blow of it, from the hate everywhere.
92 people dead in Norway. Some as young as 16, dead! And they are saying this sociopath was a "christian".
Anders Behring Breivik, the 32 year old shooter. The police identified him as a right-wing fundamentalist Christian.
While other "christians" are saying "good riddance" to Amy Winehouse, saying she got what she deserved, just like there were those that reveled in Cobain's suicide, and the rock stars before him. Calling it the judgement of God.
Well I'm tired. I'm tired of apologizing for Christians. I'm tired of people saying they are Christians and using the cross as a blunt instrument. I am tired of the violence. I am tired of the hate. I am tired of the children taking the brunt of our wrath, growing up in a vacuum of lovelessness and then putting guns in their mouths, needles in their arms. I am tired.
I love Jesus. He is wonderful beyond wonder. I believe with all my heart He is the way to the Father. But it's getting harder to be comfortable with being called a Christian.
C'mon church! Love! Love like He loved you. Love without fear, without reservation, with reckless abandon. Take the 163 million orphans and the millions of widows into your hearts and homes. Rescue the oppressed, the 27 million enslaved. Divest yourself from the treasures of this world, invest yourself into the souls of men. It's been 2000 years since Christ showed us how, showed us what love looks like. Since He traded the glory of heaven's throne for a bloody cross, the royal diadem for a crown of thorns, the company of worshiping angels for the taunts and curses of hell's wretched host.
Sorry for the sermon, like I said, I'm tired.