Like you, I’ve spent the last couple days in a kind of persistent low-level grief. I went to bed Thursday night without knowing how bad things really were, and woke to the full impact of the death and destruction. Five officers dead, seven more wounded, a gunman full of anger. A city in shock. A nation torn with frustration. We’re used to violence, and we’re all getting so weary of it. We’re used to non-stop information, most of it bad, most of it incomplete, and we’re getting so weary of that as well.
Like you, I’ve read and listened to thoughts by Christians, by newscasters, by the right and the left. Like you, I’ve felt anger, denial, blame, depression - all the stages of grief.
Proverbs 6:16-19 never seemed more appropriate:
“There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”
(Thanks, Pete Briscoe, for bringing that passage to my attention.)
Like you, I quickly realize that there are no easy answers, and really no substantial answers except the answer of the gospel. No one is bothered by all of this more than God Himself. Why doesn’t he stop it? Why doesn’t he put and end to it? Does he even care? God’s carefully thought-out answer was to personally show up here on this dangerously broken planet and shoulder the full weight of all the evil we could bring. And then, He chose to offer his answer to us and to inhabit His followers with a love and peace that is not something the world can produce. And, I think He asks us to live that love and peace into our relationships and communities. And, as helpless as we can feel doing that, it’s ultimately the best thing around.
Among all the reflections I read yesterday and today, the one that stood out the most was a Facebook post from my own daughter, Marion, who knows what it’s like to live in a neighborhood that’s way more diverse than mine here in Flower Mound. I’ll close with what she wrote:
“Romans 12 calls for us to "Weep with those who weep..." and it is most definitely a time to do so. I pray I do not react with indifference and that I can help stand for the oppressed. When you don't know what else to say or do, pray. And listen, and pray some more.”
Wondering what to do?
- Plan specifically to spend some time praying this week for our city.
- Take a listen to a Teaching our Head Elder Bill Rector gave from last summer on If God is good, why is there suffering?
- Think about having your small group watch & discuss Tony Evans’ new video series “Onenness Embraced” on Right Now Media. (It’s a 6-part series of short videos about racial harmony.) Ask one of our staff members how you can access those.