My heart breaks, and I am left not knowing what to do. And so, I turn to prayer. Psalm 13, “How long O Lord, will you forget us forever? How long will you hide your face from us? How long must we bear this sorrow in our hearts? All the day long?”
I pray for the families of the persons who lost their lives senselessly. I pray for those who have been injured, for full and speedy recovery. I pray for the first responders and hospital personnel who are working amazingly long hours and putting their own lives at risk and on hold for the sake of serving their fellow humans.
And then that prayer reminds me, as disciples, as followers of Jesus Christ, yes we are called to pray, but we are also called to respond. We are called to not lose hope in the face of evil, injustice, and oppression, but to trust fully that the love of God in and through Jesus Christ can and will bring healing and redemption in this world, if we are willing to be conduits of that grace and love.
And so my friends, let us mourn, let us grieve, let us pray, and then let us act to make positive and transformative changes to the community and country in which we live. In the words of the great preacher (and hymn writer) Harry Emerson Fosdick, “Lo, the hosts of evil round us, scorn thy Christ, assail his ways! Fears and doubts too long have bound us; free our hearts to work and praise. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the living of these days, for the living of these days.”
Grace and Peace be with you.
*Thank you to Benée Braden for pointing me to the hymn “God of Grace and God of Glory” UMH 577