My heart is broken this week. I am aching with everyone who has been hurt in any way by the shooting in Orlando.
I am bemoaning the brokenness in our world, the division, violence, judgement, and hate that allow such awful atrocities to occur. I am angry that our nation’s laws fail to protect the common good and instead make it easy for violent people to access weapons and massacre anyone they desire.
I am challenged by the love of God found in Scripture, the instructions to be people of mercy and compassion:
So speak and so act as people who will be judged by the law of freedom. For the judgment is merciless to one who has not shown mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. ~ James 2:12-13
The law we live by is a law of love and freedom.
This is not a time for judgement. This is a time for unity, compassion, mercy and love.
This is a time to respond to cries and pleads for our kindness and prayers. As Andy Moss says in this video from CNN, we are needed to be instruments of mercy and love right now:
“Keep praying. I am not a very religious person, but whatever religion you are—whatever you believe—keep sending it our way. We all need that hope. Keep praying for us. We all need it.”
Let us pray with the hope that Andy needs from us that this is the final massacre, and that our nation will change our mindsets, hearts, and laws.
God of mercy and peace, we cry out to you for help and guidance during this time of sadness and pain. We mourn the dead and we mourn our sins that have allowed such violence to occur. We pray for everyone who is impacted by violence. Receive the beloved deceased into their heavenly home and comfort those who are suffering. Surround them with your love and peace. We pray for everyone who is tempted to perpetuate violence and for an end to easy access to weapons. Give us the grace we need to imitate you and live according to your laws of love and freedom. God, you are the source of peace and justice and we believe that you can guide us to conversion. Unite as one people and change our minds, hearts, and laws so that there will never again be another massacre. Give us the strength to be people of peace and love. Help us to be people of forgiveness and mercy and heal our broken hearts and ways and grant us peace.