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A wave of violence

A wave of violence

On the way to see my son’s new office in Harrisonburg, Virginia, we walk past a sculpture that captures the dismay I feel about the latest school shooting.


It’s a large, sweeping curve of dark, reflective stone, titled “Guns Into Plowshares.” Imbedded into a swath of it are hundred of pistols that were confiscated by police departments and donated to the project. From a distance, the complexity reduces the weapons to the level of texture. But up close, where the individual grips and barrels are identifiable, the texture becomes a chaos of aggression.

That chaos is a hallmark of our enemy, the destructor of all that is good. Violence and anger are his tools. Heartbreak and injustice and pointlessness are in his wake.


But he doesn’t have the last say. There will come a day when God “will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more.” (Rev. 21:4) Death of death and hell’s destruction. All this heartache and wrong will be caught up in a great wave of God’s redemption. And justice will be served.

We walked into a nearby building and came across another piece of art: a “quilt” of ceramic tiles. The order and beauty of it seemed to be an antidote to the poison of twisted violence. This pictured the comfort I need to pray for the grieving families of the young victims.


God can take all the broken pieces, all the dark colors with the light, and make sense out of them.

Lord, I cannot fathom the depth of the pain these families are going through. And even as voices shout about the insensitivity of offering prayer, we know that only you can bring healing and true comfort. Oh God, stem this flood of violence. Bring about real change in our society to bring an end to this bloodshed. How we long for the day when you will right all wrongs and dry every tear. Come, Lord Jesus.

Bruce Van Patter

As a freelance illustrator, graphic recorder, and author, Bruce is on a lifelong journey to delight in the handiwork of the Creator. And he’s always ready for fellow travelers.

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