How Long O Lord?

My heart hurts tonight.

CNNCoverAs I’m writing this, I’m listening to the coverage of the shooting in San Bernadino, California.  There are victims who have been killed.  Two suspects have been killed and there is a search going on for a third suspect.  They don’t know at this point why this happened or what the motivation was.  I’m certain that in upcoming days, this will be made clear.

The psalmist wrote:   How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
                                               How long will you hide your face from me?
                                            How long must I take counsel in my soul
                                               and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
                                           How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
– Psalm 13:1-2

Shootings at schools, malls, military bases, places of work, movie theaters, restaurants, government buildings…the list goes on and on.  And each time this happens, multiple families receive notification that they have lost someone they love; a father, a mother, a son or daughter, a friend.  And there is shock…and grief.

How long, O Lord?

This should not be a political issue, but it is.  Tonight, I don’t want to take political sides on this issue.  Instead, I am want to side with life.  Life matters.  we’ve reached a point where these stories are so common that we just throw up our hands and say “well, what can we do?”  We have to do something.  We need to side with life.

How long, O Lord?

Tonight, as I listen to events unfold, I don’t want to cave in to kneejerk reactions.  Instead, I want to ask for three things:

  1. I ask for people of faith to pray.  Pray for the victims and their families.  Pray for law enforcement.  Pray for peace.  And pray that our nation will have the courage to do whatever is needed to bring these incidents of violence to a stop.
  2. I ask for conversation, respect and openness.  We live in a culture that has an entrenched mentality.  We dig in and hold our position no matter what.  We become as interested in the other side losing as we are in winning.  We need to change our paradigms.  This needs to be an issue of values and life, instead of merely a political issue.  We need to be able to talk about this.
  3. We need to have the courage to act.

How long, O Lord?

I don’t know.  But I suspect that in actuality, God looks at us and asks the same question:  “How long?”

Let us pray that our answer is “no longer.”

Peace,
Pastor Todd

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