Poem: Shooting Our Wounded

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Shooting our Wounded

I am slow to shoot,
quick to wound,
quicker still to heal.

There is blood enough in this world.
Anger enough.
Crossfires enough.

And all that is left
are the wounded,
Some heal.

Most never do.

About this poem

A poem of mourning and anger.

My world has changed over the past fifteen years. I’ve come in far more contact with the people in this world who are broken. Mentally and emotionally broken. Financially broken. Relationally broken. The people largely discarded or reviled or ignored by our world. I’ve been part of them for a time, and was fortunate enough that I could heal, grow stronger and emerge, if not whole, at least well enough that
l am strong and able to give back.

I have because of work and situations and in the past few years, being with a wonderful woman who has made her life’s work helping the struggling, had the opportunity to not deal with people as “the poor” or “Immigrants” or “the crazy people.”, and actually learn their stories. There are no groups, I have learned. There are people with stories.

Yes, there are some users in the bunch. But there are users in every bunch, every step along in the food chain there are people who take advantage of others, of the system. But here’s what I know. Most people are doing the best they can. Most people are damaged. Some hide it well. Others cannot hide it at all.

Listening and loving works. But mostly we as a nation are too busy being angry. Being afraid. Creating groups so we don’t have to take the time and suffer ourselves through the stories and the hard work of loving each other and simply helping out where we can. And our politicians feed the anger. Feed the fear. And it makes me angry. And it makes me sad. And I am left with my words, and doing what little I can.

The poem’s title came from a saying about some churches that I preached on this Sunday, about sometimes how we (the church) shoot our wounded instead of loving them back to wholeness. As if grace did not matter.

OK. Rant over. But I could not explain this poem without a rant. Thank you for your patience with me.

Tom

PS – the picture was taken in my house. I have three guns, a rifle and two shotguns, that were left to me by both of my grandfathers, and my father. I keep them as memories, but I have trigger locks on all of them. I have for ages. And I have no idea where the keys are. Somehow that combination fit for this poem.

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