God of peace, we give thanks –
for James Shaw who went out for waffles
on Nashville’s south side
and jumped a shooter — saving lives,
risking his own, burning his hands,
for first responders who go out again
and again into situations of danger,
for high school students
trying to be heard
above the karaoke of gun-money.
God, I would prefer it
if I never had to lift such gratitudes.
I would rather celebrate
Taurean, Joe, Deebony, Akila,
and all they might have given our world,
than mourn their loss.
God, in your mercy,
disarm us, in the midst of sorrow.