I had a post all ready to go — in my mind, anyway. And then I found out that a local woman had been murdered. I knew her, sort of. She owned a Wichita restaurant that served the world’s best soup. When “regulars” came in, she was always ready with a smile and a hug. She was a bright, glowing presence in town and on Facebook, where we were “friends.” We may never have had more than a brief conversation, but she stood on the side of underdogs, and I admired her for that. Just recently, she’d posted a memorial to a doctor who’d been murdered some years earlier, lauding him for his work on behalf of women. And then the same stupid, senseless thing happens to her.

She called her place “Tanya’s Soup Kitchen.” The story goes that when a homeless man mistook the restaurant for an actual soup kitchen, she served him anyway, and gladly. I can believe this story.

Like most women who are murdered, she was killed by a man she knew, though whether they were romantically involved is still unresolved. No one should have to worry about being annihilated at the hands of another, let alone by someone they care about. That this happens so often — to women, in particular — fills me with grief and chagrin. Love, whether romantic or platonic, should never bring death. I know (as much as I truly know anything) that that is not what God intended.

Why do humans kill the ones they love? It seems to be a trait indigenous only to us. You don’t, for instance, see birds killing their mates, the bearers of their offspring. At least not regularly, you don’t. So what is it about human beings that turns our greatest emotion into our worst impulse? Is it jealousy, a need to be loved more than we are loved? Is it misunderstanding? A lack of communication?

I don’t know. I find the whole thing senseless. No matter how many times God tells us Thou shall not kill, we continue to throw God’s words back in God’s face. Surely, “God’s greatest creation” (as I’ve heard humans described, though I am dubious about the veracity of the statement) can do better.

We cannot hope to stop killing those we hate if we can’t stop killing those we love. My prayers go out into the dark world today: God help us.

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