There was a moment during worship last Sunday when I looked at my watch and it was 11:23. There was no way of knowing then how that exact moment would later trigger such a connection to a fellow faith community hundreds of miles away in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Needless to say, when I heard the news of the chaos and mayhem that erupted there, taking with it the lives of 26 members, and shaking the nation once more, I was speechless. Angry. Sad. Bewildered.
At some point during the night, unable to sleep, I saw a tweet on my phone: “Thoughts and prayers are not enough. “ How many times have I expressed my thoughts and prayers or some version of that? “My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time (of sickness, death, tragedy, loss).” It occurred to me that the person writing that tweet was exactly right. There comes a point when thoughts and prayers are not enough if they never move us to actions that bring change for the greater good, however challenging and painful that might be.
Now, I am the first to admit that I don’t have all the answers or know where to begin far beyond what I already do. Still, I keep wanting to believe that we, as human beings, are capable of figuring these things out somehow. And given the loss of so many precious lives, the aches, pains, and sorrows of grief, and the vulnerability of us all, it is work worth pursuing.
This Sunday we will be lighting candles and remembering our brothers and sisters slain in Sutherland Springs and our own dear city just last week; as well as others. And we will be praying because prayer changes things; I still believe that. Prayer changes things and prayer changes people who wish to be changed; people who yearn for direction in order to be agents of transformation for such a time as this. I hope you will join us and if not, I hope you will cast yourself at the feet of Jesus and utter your own prayers for healing and guidance. I imagine that he must surely be weeping… weeping for all of us.
Grace and peace,