Once again I, like many of you, have woken up to news notification on my phone that there was another mass shooting.
My reaction is to first pray for all involved. The parents of the students who will get calls or have unanswered calls from their children who were murdered. I prayed for the family of the officer who was close to retirement and I pray for his colleagues and friends. I pray for the bar owner who is still in shock and wondering how he could have prevented this. I pray for the family of the perpetrator who also wonder what went wrong and how they could have intervened.
My second reaction is to get ready for work.
My third reaction is to figure out how we can stop this while I walk to work.
My fourth reaction is to ponder why this man carried out a mass shooting.
The truth is there is no easy answer and much mystery.
My dad often says, “hurt people hurt people.” We know that it is possible that the perpetrator was mentally ill and it’s also true that he was most likely hurt or feeling hurt in some way. The past few days I have come across several hurt people. As a pastor people open up and share with me often. In the salon, at my apartment, and at WeWork.
Trevor Hudson, a South African pastor, often says, “We must remember, everyone sits by their own pool of tears.”
This reminds each of us of our call as Christians to be present with those who are hurting.
The scripture we read this week is about “teachers of the law” or what some might consider, “holy people.” Jesus warns others of them and says, “Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.” (Mark 12:38-40)
The teachers of the law were not “holy people” but actually hypocrites who were far from the people they were called to serve.
Today, more than anything we are each called again to “BE WITH PEOPLE!” As Christians and those who aim to live a holy life Christ has called us not to be “above the pain” of the world but amidst the pain of the world. We are called to sit with people in their “pool of tears.”
We could argue all day about how to “solve this gun problem” or “security problem” and I hope many of us will engage in that political conversation as we work in our local and national governments.
Yet, as watch the news the theme that carries is that we live in a hurting world! As Christians, our duty is to work to stop it through laws and prevention BUT our duty is also to do what Christ has done for us….sit in places of pain and minister to hurting people.
Today, I wonder who you know who might be hurting?
Are you willing to give them a call?
Are you willing to listen to them?
If so, do it, do it TODAY and know that in some small way you are part of the healing of the world through Christ!
See you Sunday!