Before You Got Social That Night

Las Vegas shooting victims. Image from LA Times, 10/02/17.


The day after the Las Vegas mass shooting occurred, I read a Facebook post in which the writer reacted to the murders — only hours after they happened — by describing an entire group in a single, disturbing way.

There should be nothing less than heavy emotional reactions to a horrific event, and those made public on Facebook tend to be especially without restraint. Is it naïve of me to expect the violent deaths of 58 people to bring out sadness and a sense of life’s fragility — a sacred quiet that hushes blame and hostility?

Before you got social that night —


deliver your explanation

express your disgust

show that you care

insult a race

share your opinion

curse a politician

generalize a group

display your grief —

did you tell someone you love him

that you’re glad he is a friend

did you let the weary wounded say

“I can’t believe your God”

did you listen, grieve

offer, serve

contemplate, pray

mourn, rest —


A plan for the next blood-red day:

Slide into

a comfort cocoon —

a soul food

hug your neighbors

kiss your children

kind of night


Darla McDavid

I'm Darla, a writer of stories about family, friends, goodness, and God. I love cats, coffee, gardening, and tall stacks of books. Click here to subscribe to my blog. You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram. In my other life, I'm an administrative professional and a Sunday School teacher for preschoolers.

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