Us and Them, Uvalde School Shooting

By Tess Lopez

After the initial wave of shock and grief subsided following the tragic events
that unfolded in Texas on May 24, 2022, the messages on my social media began to
change. Posts had now pivoted from graduation ceremonies and celebrations to
angry retweets and finger-pointing over which politician, group, lawmaker,
etc., were to blame for the shooting. As heartbroken as I was over what
happened, I also grew incredibly frustrated at the number of people who could
not wait to find someone to blame. Perhaps, blame the shooter himself and the
sinfulness that consumes our society as we have turned our backs on God.

I couldn’t help but wonder: Why is our world getting so comfortable with
being constantly angry at others? Why are we always trying to blame-shift?

In a matter of hours, one of my dear friends had put together a resource
with donation links, articles, and other helpful information. It was for people
to learn more about how to help the affected families in Uvalde. I created an Instagram story sharing the link and a message expressing my frustration with the
complaints and unhelpful retweets and posts. But before sharing it, I quickly
read a new message from the same friend, who said, “I think everyone is
so shocked and angry and sad that emotions are all over the place.”

That was enough for me to stop, think and realize she was right. Our nation,
Texas, and the Uvalde community were in a place of grieving, and we were all doing
the best we knew how, expressing our feelings about what had happened. Everyone
is different, and therefore everyone reacts to tragedy differently. I erased what I had written on my Instagram story, replaced it with an encouraging note, and shared the link.

As women of faith, there can be a disconnect in how we view versus how we should consider those who are not Christians. They typically have different beliefs and behaviors than we do. Unfortunately, we often have a knee-jerk reaction to situations and events like this school shooting. In his book, Talk the Walk, author, and pastor Steven Brown writes,

There is a sense in which the Christian call makes speaking the truth to the world an “us” and “them” project. But when we take that too far, it can truncate our
witness. As is often said, if all you have is a hammer in your toolbox, everything starts looking like a nail. Once we believers demonize “them” and fail to remember their sleepless nights, the guilt that haunts them, and the pain they experience, the hammer becomes our weapon of choice.

I’m guilty of this. I’m guilty of lumping non-believers into a group of those I felt were lacking or considered my enemy. The truth is the One they lack is Jesus in their hearts and lives. Jesus is the One who sets us apart. While we know His abundance of grace and love and salvation in our lives, we are still imperfect while we are in this
world. Showing God’s grace and love can bring non-believers to repent and follow Jesus. We should exemplify grace and love, and comfort toward non-believers as a witness for our Savior, especially when they are grieving.

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.


If we walk as Jesus walked, we are to love as He did. Although he was the Son of God, Jesus didn’t come into the world with a superiority complex. Jesus did not have an “us” versus “them” mentality. He humbly ate with and walked alongside sinners and sacrificially gave Himself to save all people from their sins and give them a glimpse of God’s love. We should love the same way.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

JOHN 3:16-17 NKJV

Scriptures quoted from the New King James Version and the King James Version. Photo by Jassy Onyae on Unsplash


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