If you've followed this blog for any length of time, you know I stay away from controversy. I don't like stirring the pot, rocking the boat, or anything else resulting in an overuse of too many cliches. But in light of what happened in Toronto and Colorado last week, I have to say something about a painfully overused phrase.
Several survivors were interviewed after both shootings and it was heart-wrenching to hear their stories. No one understands what they were subjected to unless they were there; I know that. My heart goes out to these people; but I am disturbed by the comments expressed several times during the interviews, then repeated over and over again on the news. In fact, these are the same cliches I've heard all my life in the aftermath of a horrendous tragedies.
"God saved us."
"God kept me safe."
"My guardian angel was looking out for me."
"I'm alive because God blessed me."
The opposite of blessed is unblessed. In the dictionary it says: not made holy; not consecrated.
I don't believe for one moment that these people realize what they're saying. I've heard these statements for too many years to think otherwise. I know they don't believe the victims deserved to die.
As a writer, I need to take special care when choosing words. As a person, I'm curious as to why no one has ever publicly denounced the use of these cliche statements. Every time I hear someone say I'm alive because God Blessed me, it feels as if the words are spears stabbing me in the heart, telling me that my children died because they weren't blessed, nor did they have guardian angels looking out for them. They're dead because God didn't care to save them.
I don't believe that. But for an instant when I hear these words, the thought does cross my mind that God only saves the blessed.
If you and my child are involved in an accident and you live and he doesn't, I don't believe you're blessed and he's not. Who's to say how blessed death is. I don't know. All I'm certain of is it wasn't your time.