My name is Leslie Garman and I am writing in response to Gary Horton’s column entitled “Pray that we act against mental illness,” published Nov. 8 in The Signal.
I agree with the anger felt in Mr. Horton’s column: this “becoming-all-too-common” violence is overwhelming, heartbreaking and sickening. I agree that we need to prioritize gun reform.
Mr. Horton, this is what I can’t agree with: the fallacy that these prayers presented and verbalized are “hollow, fake public prayers.” To be sure, some may be hollow and fake, which leads to the very awkward “public” prayers.
I would argue, however, that the majority of prayers being lifted on behalf of the shell-shocked survivors and loved ones are, in fact, genuine, heartfelt and sincere.
For you to assume that all of the prayers were/are hollow and fake makes me consider that, perhaps, you have never been aware of the heartfelt prayers that may have, at one time or another, been sent up on your behalf.
Perhaps you have never been in a situation where you truly were perplexed and needed the guidance of someone “bigger than you.”
You said that “all things happen for a reason.” Well, this didn’t. There was absolutely no reason for this. Jesus would agree with me. What did happen, and continues to happen, and will continue to happen is that violence and anger and hate will increase. I wish it wouldn’t, but it will.
For me, the only way to combat this ugliness is to continue to make the grand endeavor to have joy in my heart and bring joy to people around me, whether I am familiar with them or not. And yes, I will say it: to be Jesus to the people around me.
And if this takes getting “blisters on my knees and a hoarse throat from praying without end,” so be it. With pleasure.