It’s Lent. So you have already seen the lists and posts of what your friends and family are trying to give up for this season – or add in some cases. Whatever it may be this is a time where we try to be more Christ-like and less me-like. It’s when we take time to notice the little everyday habits and things that consume us. We know when we let this happen it paints over our “created in the image of God”-ness. Scrubbing at vandalism is hard work, so what we choose to scrub during lent should be hard. Often times I think we let our self off the hook for Lent.
We have the right to bear arms. As Christians (and many other faith groups), we have the opportunity to say we don’t need to. It’s easy to fall under the illusion that we need to have legislated freedom to protect ourselves, and even more, to practice our faith. And we shouldn’t wait for legislation to tell us to have low capacity magazines. We shouldn’t have magazines with any capacity.
Let’s give up our “practice of self-protection” and start focusing on things like “forgiveness readiness,” as Ron Sider calls it. Following Christ is much more relational than it is preventative. When we have a gun in our home for self defense, it’s exactly what it sounds like. It means we have put our self in such a place we’re willing to prepare our self to take another’s self. Our self and our soul. Lent urges us to look deeper than the self to our soul. Instead of preparing to shoot our neighbor, let’s prepare to love and forgive our neighbor – as we would have them love and forgive our soul. If Lent is about taking out the roadblocks to soul care, then I have an option, and it’s not on any lists that I know of.
As a symbol of soul care, I want to call on the body of believers to let go of their guns and to call their communities to do the same. And don’t sell them. Let’s make a tool of creation out of it. So – if you give up your gun and donate it to RAWtools, we’ll send a garden tool made from it back to you. Now don’t just go and mail it to us. If you are interested in doing this, email me and we’ll make sure we do it safely: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t know already, our mission at RAWtools is to repurpose weapons into hand tools to be used in the creation of something new, preventing the weapon’s use for violence and creating a cycle of peace. Be a part of creating a new narrative. We’ll track the tool(s) made from your gun. We’ll tell the story of where the gun came from and how many pounds of food you are growing with your new tool, or pictures of the beautiful gardens you are tending. Maybe we can make more than one tool from your gun. Then you’ll get to see others across the country growing food and planting flowers with your gun. You’ll be able to track all of this on our website, rawtools.org.
It’s almost spring and Lent just started. Let’s give up our guns for the creation of something new. We’ll be harvesting more than vegetables in the fall.