Monday, October 5, 2015

Compassion for Oregon

Last week, as you probably know, there was a horrible school shooting in Oregon.

I heard the news a few hours later, and my heart ached for those involved. The next day I read about one of the heroes who had gotten shot multiple times trying to protect others. Yes. Let's honor the heroes and not bring attention to the killer.

But to be honest, for several days I didn't really think about the tragedy. Until I read this tribute to the moms of the victims. And it made the reality of what happened so much more real and personal.

And I found that I couldn't get the mothers out of my mind this morning when I was at church.

Were these heartbroken mothers able to sing songs of praise in their churches this morning? With an empty seat beside them on the pew?  
God strengthen their faith. Bring them comfort today.

Holy is the Lord God Almighty. The earth is filled with your glory.

There is a Redeemer, Jesus, God's own Son. Precious Lamb of God Messiah. Holy one.

The message at church this morning was on entering into God's rest from Hebrews 4. And I thought of these young people, now gathered around the throne of God, enjoying His presence and His rest for eternity.

Would you help their families find Your rest in this time of overwhelming grief, God?

It's so much easier for me not to enter into these tragedies. I don't like feeling pain so I can choose to block it out. Focus my attention somewhere else. These mass shootings. They are way too many. Do I allow my heart to break each time? God's does.

Do I care?

For the people who have huge holes left in their lives. Who are trying to pick up the pieces, make sense of senseless death, and bury with their children the sudden loss of so many dreams. Because a young man who was filled with anger and hatred, chose to bring such incomprehensible pain and grief to the innocent. Why God? These families must be asking.

I am in awe of these young people who chose death over denying their faith. What an example they are to us.

I want to honor their lives. Their hearts of courageous faith, up to their final tragic moments. I also want to be more faithful in praying for their families who lost so much. Those who lost the precious lives of their children much sooner than anyone ever expected.

I want to choose to enter into their pain and not see past it.

Will you join me?

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