I want to say something. I want to do something. I want it to stop. And I don’t think it will anytime soon.
I’m praying for all the hurting people, the ones I saw on the news and the ones I didn’t.
I’m praying for their comfort. I’m praying they’ll feel the nearness of the Lord to their broken hearts.
I’m praying for those amazing Floridians I follow on social media. For those who are out there, walking the streets, looking for people they can put their arms around and sit with and listen to. I’m praying for the officials, the enforcers, the risk-takers, the ones who work to save.
I’m praying as I walk through my ordinary Monday, because the pain of so many people is important. Because the senseless killings are overwhelming. Because I just don’t understand. Because I may not be near the hurting myself, but I know Jesus is near.
I spend too much time on social media.
Sometimes I read too many posts, with differing points of view, when events like the #OrlandoShooting happens. I guess I’m looking for help with processing my thoughts, for hopeful perspectives. That’s not always what I find.
Sometimes behind these screens, people shout hurtful things rather than caring for the suffering. Sometimes people take the opportunity to call out other people for not responding the way they’ve decided they should. Sometimes it’s all politics, politics and blame. Sometimes the internet shouters even scold people for being more sad and overwhelmed by one tragedy over another.
Sometimes these noisy interwebs suck the hope right out of my heart.
But today, I’ve seen something better, and while I know the junk is still out there, today I’m seeing a whole lot of love. Maybe I’m getting better at sifting through what I read, but in any case, I’m encouraged by so many shows of solidarity, by so many prayers and expressions of care and concern.
We live in a world where a place of dancing turns into a place of mourning overnight. When this happens, what do we do?
We mourn with those who mourn.
We weep with those who weep.
We use the power we’ve been given in prayer.
We look to the Lord because He’s the One who remains our Rock.
Because He’s our Refuge, our Strength, our Shelter from all the storms of this life.
We ask Him to lead us when there’s more for us to do.
May these ancient words, which have been floating through my head today, infuse your raw heart with hope as you mourn our nation’s losses.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8, NLT
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid. John 14:27